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Telus introduces new rate plans with no system access fee or carrier 911 fees

VANCOUVER, B.C. - In an attempt to attract new wireless subscribers in an increasingly competitive market, Telus Corp. (TSX:T) said Tuesday it's introducing new rate plans with no system access fees or carrier 911 fees for businesses and consumers.

VANCOUVER, B.C. - In an attempt to attract new wireless subscribers in an increasingly competitive market, Telus Corp. (TSX:T) said Tuesday it's introducing new rate plans with no system access fees or carrier 911 fees for businesses and consumers.

"Nobody likes surprises," Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle said in a release from Canada's second biggest phone company. "We are listening to Canadians, who have told us wireless pricing can be confusing."

The Vancouver company did not say how much the fee cuts will save its 6.3 million consumer and business wireless customers.

The announcement follows a similar move by Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) last month to eliminate both fees, although this was followed by the introduction of a new "regulatory recovery fee" that will cost customers between $2.46 and $3.46 per month depending on the province.

This leaves Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) as the only major wireless provider that still charges for 911 and system access.

The new plans will be launched Nov. 5 along with a new high-capacity wireless network that will run Apple's iPhone.

In less than two weeks, Telus, Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) and Rogers will all be selling Apple Corp. (Nasdaq:AAPL) iPhones in a market that has been the exclusive domain of Rogers since mid-2008, long after the smartphones became available in the United States.

Tuesday's rate cuts for Telus's customers also comes ahead of expected new entrants into Canada's wireless business later this year and early next year, which could make the wireless business far more competitive over time.

In recent quarters, Telus has been struggling to match earlier pre-recession rapid growth rates in new wireless subscribers.

In the second quarter, Telus said it lured in 111,000 new wireless subscribers, down 37 per cent from a year ago. At the same time, wireless revenue - which includes mobile phones and related services - was relatively flat, increased by $4 million to $1.1 billion versus a year earlier.

Telus will release its third-quarter results on Nov. 6.

Shares in the company added 20 cents to close at $33.05 in Tuesday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Rogers B stock closed at $30.46, up $1.56 or 5.4 per cent, after the company reported surprisingly strong third-quarter net earnings of $485 million. BCE shares rose 27 cents to close at $25.60.

 
 
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