While things are looking up for several handset makers such as RIM, Samsung and LG, unfortunately, the same can’t be said regarding the mobile carriers in Canada.

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Telus, in particular, was only able to nab 48,000 new subscribers in the first quarter of 2009 which is 46% fewer than the same period one year earlier. That’s basically a growth rate of 0.3% in the first 3 months of 2009 which is a far cry from the 4.8% growth last time around.

In a press release, Telus explains the reason behind their poor showing:

The worsening trend is believed to be primarily due to the weakening Canadian economy, including: lower consumer confidence and a resulting decrease in retail sales, including customer deferral of buying decisions; lower and more cautious business spending; and lower employment levels.

As far as stock values are concerned, it’s not looking too good for Telus in that department either. Telus’ stock price was down by 10% in afternoon trading with other prominent mobile carriers in the negative as well. Rogers Communications for instance, was down by 6% while BCE Inc, Bell Canada’s parent company, was also on a slide albeit only by 1% .

This is definitely not good news for the wireless industry as a whole. However, it is still early on in the year, and we’re certainly hoping that they can bounce back in the second quarter and the second half of 2009. Nevertheless, with no clear sign of the global economic crisis coming to an end soon, their unenviable task to improve on their dismal performance in Q1 and lure in more subscribers will, no doubt, become more difficult as the months go by.

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