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One of the co-hosts of the 2023 ITU CxO meeting, hosted by Telecom Review, is TELUS. In line with this, Telecom Review had an exclusive interview with Dr. Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO, TELUS to talk about sustainable digital transformation, public safety networks, and connectivity demands in Canada.

Why should we implement sustainable digital transformation standards in today's modern world?

As an industry, we should talk about sustainable energies because the growth rate that's happening in the industry regarding data usage or resource usage is going through the roof. It's critical that we work on multiple aspects of it, taking away from the 30 year-old three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.

A public safety network is essential. Can you share TELUS' solutions to deliver an effective response?

One of the challenges is the fact that climate change or climate chaos is happening. It's very critical that the private industry steps up to the plate to support what the governments are doing in terms of climate change. More importantly, if I look at Canada, for us, it's floods and fires, which is interesting— You have two opposites, fire and water, that are wreaking havoc in our country at different times of the year.

Our vision is very simple: there's a magnificent use case for 5G in delivering a seamless experience for public safety first responders across multiple operators. Our goal is not so much focused on increasing TELUS’ market share but how we step up as an industry in Canada to get better outcomes; be it better health or community safety outcomes.

From your perspective, what connectivity demands will continue to emerge in Canada? How will TELUS ensure responding to these matters?

I think during COVID, we saw a lot of work from home or at least work from multiple locations. I don't think that was a transient stage. It's part of life. If you look at the capacity that people need to be able to function remotely, it was, in my estimation, around 3x to 4x in the pre-pandemic era. However, with the inclusion of bidirectional video and content sharing, this capacity has evolved to approximately 10x.

Our plan is very simple. We've made what we call a generational investment in fiber infrastructure, and we're doing the same with 5G; especially with the recent acquisition of mid-band spectrum, we aim to offer fixed wireless access at speeds exceeding 100 megabits to our subscribers. However, the main go-to of what we’re doing is fiber-to-the-home with XGSPON technology, delivering speeds of 10 Gig, with potential plans to standardize at either 25 Gig or 50 Gig, depending on industry standards.

What is the importance of co-hosting and participating in the ITU CxO meeting?

I think it's very critical that we don't have any operators taking a narrow focus and just looking at themselves because we have global problems that need global solutions, and collaboration is the key. I believe this forum serves as a platform where we can openly discuss what proves effective, what doesn't, and share best practices, fostering mutual benefit for all involved. TELUS is proud to work with Telecom Review and du, and we're happy to be part of the ITU CxO session.