Telus to get Canada Exclusive on Touchscreen BlackBerry?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Aug 2008 10:09 am EDT

Telus BlackBerry Thunder

Looks like I might be jumping the Rogers ship and moving over to Telus in a few months. Why? Word has it they are poised to become the exclusive carrier of RIM's touchscreen BlackBerry in Canada.

Yesterday in the Globe and Mail, in an article called 10 Reasons to Buy Rogers, the author dropped in this seemingly innocent line:

"On the other hand, Telus is expected to launch (exclusively) a new touch screen BlackBerry this fall, which could steal some of the Bold's Thunder, albeit temporarily." 

Telus and the BlackBerry Thunder? What about the Verizon/Vodafone worldwide exclusive? It was unconfirmed news to me so I held off posting, but after working over some trusty RIM-connected folk last night (a.k.a. Yager Bombs at a bar until 2am), I have indeed confirmed that Telus will in fact be getting a touchscreen BlackBerry - exclusively (at least to start). I'll want to see it before I fully believe it, but it only makes sense that somebody get to carry the Thunder in RIM's home and native land.

Update: Since posting this live I have received yet further word confirming the above. Good news for Telus subscribers, that's for sure.

You can talk about in the forums here (thanks mnokia) and yes, that's some intentionally bad Telus logo photoshopping :-)

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Telus to get Canada Exclusive on Touchscreen BlackBerry?!


It makes sense as Verizon owns a good chunk of Telus. Hopefully its just a 30 day exclusive. I am told the Bold is in the 6th certification attempt with rogers. Aug 20th?

i would be really pissed if RIM did this. i mean seriously, a cdma exclusive??? gsm is the way of the world

Just because 2 of the "Big 3" operate on CDMA does not by any means mean that the technology is more dominant here. If this were true they would not be considering a GSM overlay, costing them upwards of $300 million...IMO CDMA is on life support and b/c of that so are Telus/Bell.

I hate to break it to you but CDMA is the dominant technology in the U.S and Canada PERIOD with seamless roaming amongst all the CDMA carriers.

Secondly...GSM is old technology, Telus is overlaying with UMTS/HSDPA over their EVDO network NOT 2G GSM old and outdated technology.

After this overlay and not having to spend more to dismantle and build old GSM like some other carriers, the road to LTE is now clear for the taking.

It's all about LTE folks LTE NOT GSM. Telus is moving forward not backwards. If you must know legacy 2G GSM is temporarily there for world/overseas GSM/UMTS roamers during the 2010 olympics (Telus's own backyard)

I feel that this dominance you portray is due to lack of competition at least in Canada, I don't live in the states...And although gsm is old technology, that doesn't change that is it used by approx 80% of the world!?

Upon re-reading, I didn't mean for my statement to imply that they were overlaying with old 2G GSM. I guess this came from my understanding [or perhaps lack thereof] that the HSDPA/UMTS technology which they were implementing was part of the 3gpp, which I consider to be an extension or successor to gsm. I thought this was a completely different class/family than the current W/CDMA2000 which is currently employed...Maybe I'll read up on it some more...

Also, I completely agree that LTE is the future...

Yes GSM is the world technology but Vodafone (The largest GSM carrier in the world) will be switching to LTE. As will Verizon and Telus. Telus like Verizon didn't want to waste their time by switching over to legacy 2G GSM and instead waited for Qualcomm to come up with smooth transition technology for CDMA carriers to implement HSDPA and/or LTE without having to do any major overhauling.

Now...they do! They still kept their extensive EVDO coverage continuing to make money meanwhile upgrading their way to 4G not 2G.

What does this mean for Telus? It means that when everything is said and done, they still have access to the largest and most dominant technology in Canada and the U.S. and when overseas...their phones will automatically switch over to HSPA/LTE (similar to their first generation CDMA/GSM hybrid phones) Once LTE is fully implemented then the world will finally have one standard.

Since you live in Canada you should already know that the combined and seamless roaming of Telus, Bell, MTS Mobility, Sasktel Mobility, and Aliant coverage and towers combined COMPLETELY TRUMPS the towers and coverage provided by Rogers/Fido.

Now you combine that of Verizon, Sprint, Alltel, U.S. Cellular vs AT&T and T-Mobile. So for Canada and the U.S. you have:

Telus/Bell/MTS Mobility/Sastel Mobility/Aliant/Verizon/Sprint/Alltel/U.S. Cellular (CDMA)


Rogers/Fido/AT&T/T-Mobile (GSM)

You tell me which technology providers combined has the most towers and coverage throughout Canada and the U.S.?

I would be happy if I liked touch screen devices... But I think I'll be holding out the Javelin...

Nevertheless, GO TELUS!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, The Storm a.k.a the Thunder is a world phone, it does cdma in North America and gsm overseas.

Can I have jus a lil credit for this one!? I posted this exact same thing in the Thunder's thread..Shouts to Kev for doing his homework and confirming this, atta boy...Jus like I always though, Thunder on Telus, aaoow!!

when oh when will we be getting the bold or thunder in the states??? My 8800 is begging me to trade him in and I can't justify getting a curve when i know the bold is lurking around the corner. Just a sign of hope is all i need!

I just wanted to clarify that Verizon does not own Telus. In late 2004, Verizon Communications sold its approximate 20 per cent interest in TELUS making TELUS a widely held public company with no significant shareholders.

Yes from way back then Vodafone continues to own less than half of Verizon. Verizon owned roughly 20 - 25% of Telus.

Now Verizon sold their shares back to Telus and Verizon also wants to buy back their shares from Vodafone but at this point Vodafone still wants to keep their Verizon shares.

Now you can see how all three are so closely knit. Verizon gets exclusivity in the U.S., Vodafone gets exclusivity overseas, and Telus gets exclusivity in Canada. :)

Good lookin' out...Would have provided a good explanation as to the exclusivity though....oh well

Anyone thinks Telus is becoming really good on smartphones selection? Instinct, Touch Diamond (first in NA!) and now Thunder. Will they also offer on the Thunder their promotional 15$ for unlimited data that they will offer with the Touch Diamond?

Just finished reading the article, I love this tidbit!

"Bell and Telus received a lot of bad media coverage when they said they'd start charging for inbound text messages, while Rogers stayed quiet. However, Scotia says Rogers is likely to raise its fees as well. "

Isn't that a sweet oligopoly we have in Canada... everyone is jacking their prices at the same time and every customers loses.

Giving out exclusive rights of handsets in Canada is just plain stupid. It's already bad enough that Canadian carriers have horrible rates and now to give out rights so the consumer decides if they really want the phone bad enough to swap.

From what the article states, this is true, I just hope the exclusive right lasts only a month or so and longer would be extremely dumb. Canadians already don't have much choice when it comes to which carrier we want to be with so just provide the handset to all supported carriers, in this case Telus and Bell.

I'm not saying this because I'm with Bell. I'm not really feeling the Thunder so not really excited if and when this is available. I just hope this doesn't carry on to future handsets, something that I may be interested in. How Bell and Telus do business (one following the other), it's really surprising that RIM would actually do this in Canada.

But on the other hand, maybe RIM did their homework. Maybe Telus has more consumers rather than business clients and having the Thunder be mfg. for a carrier that might lack in sales might not be smart so they redirect all their units to a carrier that give the best chance for the Thunder to succeed.

I'm waiting for more news on this.

you and me both...I was hoping that this phone would be unlocked. I will NOT switch over to Telus. When I heard about the Thunder rivaling (read: "kicking ass over") the Iphone I was so happy my balls were clapping. Now that it might be going to Telus they have shriveled up..

Seriously RIM...Telus? Are you purposely trying to suck?