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Navin Arora is president of Business Solutions at TELUS. Photo credit: Adrian Shellard © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Navin Arora has seen a lot during his 22-year career with TELUS — from the dot-com boom to the pandemic.

“When I joined the company, the internet was still in its early days, with people using dial-up,” says Arora, now executive vice-president and president of Business Solutions. “At that time, I didn’t realize just how important our wireless and wireline services would become as they have for staying connected, especially during a pandemic.”

Now TELUS — one of Canada’s most innovative and respected companies — is about to embark on a new chapter for Alberta, where the telecom company has deep roots.

“We’re really excited to be pushing ahead with a $14.5-billion investment across Alberta over the next four years, which includes expanding 5G and our TELUS PureFibre networks across the province.

“Already in 2021, we plan to expand 5G to over 130 communities across Alberta, while ultimately connecting 500,000 more households and businesses to TELUS PureFibre.”

The investment is forecast to create 8,000 jobs in construction, engineering and emerging technologies.

“5G and fibre optics networks are really exciting from a business perspective,” he adds. “These are the technological backbone as we digitally transform Calgary’s industries and further diversify its economy.”

In particular, 5G wireless networks — already rolled out across Calgary — will fuel fast-evolving innovation in virtually every corner of the economy, from health and education to agriculture and technology to energy and finance.

Arora highlights agriculture as one area where increased connectivity, network reliability and capacity will revolutionize farming and food production.

“That’s why we launched TELUS Agriculture,” he says about its acquisitions of agri-tech firms such as Decisive Farming and Feedlot Health Management Services.

TELUS Agriculture recently made a $1-million investment in Olds College to leverage TELUS technology and help advance farming, allowing for real-time monitoring of crop conditions to boost yield — ever more important as global food demand grows.

Yet, TELUS investments go beyond expanding and improving telecommunications services for business and individual customers.

“We’re really proud to be a world leader in giving back,” says Arora, adding that TELUS has been recognized internationally many times for its efforts, including the only telco in the world listed in the Wall Street Journal’s ranking of firms whose businesses are contributing to the greater good.

“Doing good in our communities isn’t just a priority,” Arora says. “It’s our core philosophy.”

Since 2000, they’ve contributed over $81M to help support 6,700 charitable programs right here in Calgary. The company also has its ongoing Connecting for Good programs that support vulnerable Albertans, including offering free smartphones with subsidized wireless plans for young adults leaving foster care to make their way in the world.

TELUS has also been at the forefront of helping during the pandemic, says Arora, pointing to initiatives such as fast-tracking $350,000 in funding to continue serving vulnerable populations during the pandemic.

For TELUS employees, these community-minded investments are all in a day’s work, Arora says.

“Every team member takes great pride in doing good in the communities they live and serve.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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