published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
Number 466: January 28, 2005
Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous
financial support from:
** ALLSTREAM: www.allstream.com
** AVAYA: www.avaya.ca/en/
** BELL CANADA: www.bell.ca
** CISCO SYSTEMS CANADA: www.cisco.com/ca/
** ERICSSON: www.ericsson.ca
** MITEL NETWORKS: www.mitel.com/
** SPRINT CANADA: www.sprint.ca
** UTC CANADA: www.canada.utc.org/
IN THIS ISSUE:
** Rogers Ends Unlimited Calling on CityFido
** Videotron Launches Local Phone Service
** Wireless Auction Ends
** MTS Study--No Need for Policy Review
** Bell Wins Bid for Nexxlink
** Allstream Intros Small Business Suite
** Aliant to Launch IP Television
** Comment Sought on Montreal-Area 10-Digit Dialing
** SBC Seeks AT&T Merger, Again
** Bell, Onestop Plan Subway Net
** Currie Returns to Nortel
** MTS-Allstream and Vancouver in Access Dispute
** CDNA Decision Expected Soon
** Yet Another VoIP Service
** Celestica Reducing Staff by 5,500
** SR Telecom Lays Off One-Third of Staff
** Sierra Wireless Predicts Sales Decline
ROGERS ENDS UNLIMITED CALLING ON CITYFIDO: On March 1, Rogers will
stop providing unlimited local calls to new CityFido customers,
instead offering 750 local minutes a month for $45, or 1,500 for
$65. The size of the "local" coverage areas in Vancouver, Toronto, and
Montreal will be reduced, and calls outside of that area will be 50
** Current CityFido customers will be grandfathered on
existing monthly packages and City zones for one year or
until the end of their service agreement for as long as
they renew it.
VIDEOTRON LAUNCHES LOCAL PHONE SERVICE: Videotron has begun offering
local telephone service to customers on Montreal's South Shore, and
says it will extend the service across Quebec this year. Pricing
ranges from $15.95/month for the phone component of a bundle also
including Internet and cable TV, to $21.95/month for telephone only.
** All plans include unlimited calling to other Videotron
telephone customers. Unlimited calling within Quebec is
available for $4.95/month in a bundle, or $9.95/month for
** The service uses hybrid technology, combining IP-based
access with Videotron's existing circuit-based telephone
WIRELESS AUCTION ENDS: The auction of 2300/3500 MHz spectrum ended on
Thursday January 27, with 12 final bidders and total bids of $56.6
** The four largest bidders--accounting for over 98% of the
total amount bid--were Bell Canada ($34.5 million for 55
licences), Telus ($8.8 million for 130 licences), 4253311
Canada Inc ($7.6 million for 25 licences) and Rogers
Wireless ($4.7 million for 40 licences).
** Distributel, which was an aggressive bidder early in the
auction, ended with only one licence for $1,500.
** Other bidders obtaining one or more licences were
Amtelecom, Lyon Wireless, Mipps, Reseau TW, Sogetel, Tele
Amos, and YourLink.
MTS STUDY -- NO NEED FOR POLICY REVIEW: A new report prepared for MTS
Allstream by Lemay-Yates Associates says that Canada has a sound
telecom policy framework in place and is well ahead of Europe and the
U.S. in that respect. It concludes that the telecom policy review
proposed by Bell Canada is unnecessary.
BELL WINS BID FOR NEXXLINK: Bell Canada says that 86.3% of outstanding
common shares of Nexxlink Technologies Inc. were tendered in response
to its takeover offer, so it will proceed with the acquisition, making
Nexxlink a wholly owned subsidiary.
** Bell has replaced Nexxlink's directors with its own
nominees. Karen Sheriff, Bell's President of Small and
Medium Business, is now Chair of Nexxlink's Board.
ALLSTREAM INTROS SMALL BUSINESS SUITE: Allstream has introduced a
"suite of integrated services for small and mid-sized businesses,"
including local, LD, and toll-free phone service, high-speed Internet
access, and hosted Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint, with discounts
for customers who take multiple services.
ALIANT TO LAUNCH IP TELEVISION: Aliant plans to launch Internet-based
TV service in Halifax in the second quarter, and will spend $40
million over the next three years to develop the service. A trial
using a 10 Mbps Internet link began in Halifax this month.
** Aliant's 2004 profit of $137 million was 30% less than the
previous year. Revenue fell 1.2% to $2.03 billion. The
strike at Aliant last year cost $68 million in increased
costs and lost revenue, and $67 million was spent on staff
COMMENT SOUGHT ON MONTREAL-AREA 10-DIGIT DIALING: In Telecom Public
Notice 2005-1, the CRTC seeks input on a proposal to introduce
mandatory 10-digit local dialing in area code 450 in October 2006,
coincident with a similar change in adjacent area code
514. Submissions are due by February 17.
SBC SEEKS AT&T MERGER, AGAIN: Published reports say that SBC
Communications, the second-largest regional telco in the U.S., is once
again in talks to buy AT&T. SBC tried to buy AT&T in 1997 but talks
failed; this time, the price should be much lower, since the
once-dominant carrier's revenues have plunged dramatically. (See
Telecom Update #465)
BELL, ONESTOP PLAN SUBWAY NET: Bell Mobility and Onestop are deploying
a broadband network in Toronto's subway system to provide news,
weather, and other information over large LCD screens in subway
stations, and a wireless net to deliver similar content to screens in
CURRIE RETURNS TO NORTEL: Peter Currie will rejoin Nortel Networks
February 14 as Chief Financial Officer, replacing William Kerr. Currie
was Nortel's CFO from 1994 to 1997, and then Royal Bank CFO until last
** Controller MaryAnne Pahapill has left Nortel to join TD
MTS-ALLSTREAM AND VANCOUVER IN ACCESS DISPUTE: MTS Allstream has asked
the CRTC for permission to construct transmission lines in Vancouver,
on terms consistent with the Ledcor Decision. The carrier says "the
City is obstinately refusing to enter into any fixed term or city-wide
** Vancouver has replied to Shaw Cablesystem's application
for resolution in a similar dispute (see Telecom Update
#465). The City disputes the CRTC's jurisdiction.
CDNA DECISION EXPECTED SOON: Telecom Update expects the CRTC's final
decision in the Competitor Digital Network Access proceeding to be
released in early February.
YET ANOTHER VoIP SERVICE: Vancouver-based Nicer Canada Corporation has
introduced an IP telephone service that offers virtual telephone
numbers from Vancouver or Taiwan. Pricing ranges from $16.99
(unlimited local calling) to $29.99 (adds 500 minutes of calling to 16
CELESTICA REDUCING STAFF BY 5,500: Celestica plans to reduce its
global workforce by 10%-15%, laying off 5,500 employees over the next
15 months. Revenue in 2004 was $8.8 billion, 31% higher than the
previous year; the net loss was $854 million.
SR TELECOM LAYS OFF ONE-THIRD OF STAFF: As a result in a drop of
orders for its wireless equipment, Montreal-based SR Telecom has laid
off 127 of its 383 employees. The company says the reduction is
SIERRA WIRELESS PREDICTS SALES DECLINE: Sierra Wireless expects first
quarter sales to fall to $18 million, a third their previous
level. Sierra has lost its PalmOne contact, which made up 30% of its
sales. Net income in 2004 was $25 million on sales of $211 million.
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