Carrier exclusivity isn’t a great idea when you’re a veteran smartphone manufacturer looking to retain the media’s sometimes inexplicable adoration and regain the public’s lost enthusiasm. But if you’re only getting started in this cutthroat, overcrowded business, it’s better to have one high-profile cellular partner than no major mobile operators in your corner.

After all, the 2015-founded Essential Products may already be worth close to a billion (US) dollars, with CEO Andy Rubin’s name and reputation vouching for the start-up’s tremendous potential even before its first phone and smart home hub were announced a couple of weeks back. Still, this is a completely new, unproven company carriers and customers are dealing with, making a certain skepticism from prospective industry allies totally understandable.

That’s not Sprint’s case stateside, and it absolutely isn’t the attitude adopted by Telus up north. Canada’s second largest wireless service provider is “excited to be the launch partner for the Essential Phone” in the region, taking “pride in carrying the latest smartphones and technology, ensuring that our customers have the greatest selection of products to suit their lifestyle.”

No words on pricing or an exact release date just yet, but “the end of July 2017” is when pre-orders will begin on telus.com, followed by online and in-store availability “across Canada later this summer.”

You’ll be able to buy the Essential Phone both outright and on select Telus Your Choice plans, with “exclusive offers being announced in the coming weeks”, and the “world’s smallest 4K 360-degree camera” also headed for the sleek handheld’s “preferred Canadian carrier and retail partner.”

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