TELUS Corp. president and CEO Darren Entwistle continues to be cautious about the launch of the company’s TV service, stating during a February 18 conference call that he has not yet given it the greenlight. "I made the comment previously that taking a concept and offering it effectively in the marketplace such as moving into a new industry like entertainment distribution is a non-trivial undertaking, and I’m highly conservative in our approach," he said in answer to a question from an analyst, following the release of TELUS’ fourth-quarter results. "I would just ask you to juxtapose our entry into the entertainment distribution business versus the competitive dynamic in respect to high-speed Internet access…(high-speed Internet is) a foot race (with Shaw) for virgin customers. And that is not the case in terms of entertainment distribution. It’s a fairly sedentary industry, and as a result I am being cautious, and I just want to ensure that we have every single parameter covered off in terms of excellence and operational execution." He added that progress was being made with trials currently taking place with about 1,500 employees participating in Edmonton and Calgary. "I’m still focused on making sure that the economics are created for shareholders, and that the technical robustness is as good or better than the incumbents – from our network performance to picture quality. And then finally that we differentiate ourselves on a series of non-price based factors, and that we compete as a result of our innovation rather than a price discount mentality." While Janet Yale, TELUS executive VP of government and regulatory affairs, told Canadian Communications Reports that the TV service would launch this year (CCR, Feb. 14/05), Entwistle said during the conference call that he had not yet given it the go-ahead. "As of yet, I have not given the greenlight, nor do I believe it’s appropriate for shareholders to foreshadow a particular launch date," he said.
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