published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
Number 517: February 17, 2006
Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous
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** BELL CANADA: www.bell.ca
** CISCO SYSTEMS CANADA: www.cisco.com/ca/
** ERICSSON: www.ericsson.ca
** MICROSOFT CANADA: www.microsoft.com/canada/telecom/
** MITEL NETWORKS: www.mitel.com/
** NEC UNIFIED SOLUTIONS: www.necunifiedsolutions.com
** ROGERS TELECOM: www.rogers.com/solutions
** VONAGE CANADA: www.vonage.ca
IN THIS ISSUE:
** CRTC Orders Telcos to Expand Remote Broadband
Residential Rates to Drop
Dissenters Oppose Deferral Account Ruling
** Strike Costs Shrink Telus Profits
** Nortel Adds Microsoft Server to PBX
** Rogers Readies 3G Wireless Rollout
** Cable Association Closing Its Doors
** Wi-LAN Founder Quits Board
** JDS Sells Ottawa Plant
** Dubai Group May Buy Canadian Call Centre
** Microsoft Offers Push-Email Wireless Software
** Cable Results Shine at Quebecor
** IIT Appoints New Chair
** VoIP Users Group to Meet
** Correction--Persona Cable Subs
** Telemanagement Live Sets Golf Tournament
CRTC ORDERS TELCOS TO EXPAND REMOTE BROADBAND: CRTC Telecom Decision
2006-9 rules that the major telephone companies must spend most of the
money accumulated in their deferral accounts (a total of about $650
million) to provide high-speed Internet service to residential customers
in unserved areas.
** Each telco's fund will be spent within its own territory.
The telcos are to report their final deferral account
balances by May 15, and to file proposals for broadband
expansion by June 30.
** Only the "uneconomic" portion of the deployments are to be
funded from the deferral accounts. Backbones funded this
way must be available to competitors at "minimal rates."
** At least 5% of deferral account funds must be used to
improve services to disabled customers.
RESIDENTIAL RATES TO DROP: The deferral accounts were established in
the 2002 Price Cap decision to accumulate funds that would otherwise
have reduced residential rates under the price cap formula. The CRTC
has now ruled that after June 1 no further amounts will flow into the
deferral accounts: instead, residential rates are to be reduced. Bell
Canada estimates that its monthly rates will fall by about $1.
DISSENTERS OPPOSE DEFERRAL ACCOUNT RULING: Commissioner Barbara Cram
dissented from the CRTC's majority decision on the deferral accounts,
saying the accumulated funds should be rebated to customers. The
Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which had argued for customer
rebates, calls the decision "unfair and unprecedented."
STRIKE COSTS SHRINK TELUS PROFITS: Telus fourth quarter revenue of
$2.01 billion was 6.2% higher than a year ago, but strike-related
costs cut net income to $78.5 million, down 59% on the quarter and 42%
on the year.
** Wireless revenue of $877 million was 16% higher than a
year ago, and net subscriber additions rose 26% to
235,000. Wireline revenue was flat at $1.21 billion. Data
revenue rose 7.2% compared to a year ago. Residential
lines dropped by 3.6%.
NORTEL ADDS MICROSOFT SERVER TO PBX: Nortel has begun shipping
Converged Office, which integrates the Microsoft Office Live
Communication Server into Nortel's Communication Server 1000 and adds
features such as real-time collaboration on documents, click to call,
instant messaging, and telephony presence. (See Telecom Update #495)
ROGERS READIES 3G WIRELESS ROLLOUT: Rogers Communications says it will
complete technical trials of High Speed Downlink Packet Access
technology in March, and begin offering it commercially this fall. The
company says HSDPA provides wireless data downloads that are 8 to 10
times faster than the technology it now uses, and 1.5 to 2 times
faster than the EVDO technology introduced last year by Bell and
** Ericsson will be Rogers' sole provider of HSDPA packet
core and radio network equipment.
CABLE ASSOCIATION CLOSING ITS DOORS: The Canadian Cable
Telecommunications Association, formed 50 years ago, will wind up
operations this month. In a press release, the CCTA says it is no
longer possible "to consistently reflect a single industry position on
many key issues" due to convergence, new services, and changing
competitive conditions. Citing similar concerns, Videotron and Shaw
left the association in recent years (see Telecom Update #316, 509).
** About 85 small cablecos will continue to pursue business
and policy issues through the Canadian Cable System
Alliance (CCSA), a purchasing group established in 1993.
WI-LAN FOUNDER QUITS BOARD: Hatim Zaghloul has resigned as a director
of Wi-LAN Inc. citing disagreements about the company's new
strategy. (See Telecom Update #515) Zaghloul was co-inventor of the
broadband wireless technologies that led to the formation of Wi-LAN in
** Wi-LAN has agreed to sell its Til-Tek Antenna Division,
based in Kemptville, Ontario, to Kavveri Telecom Products
of Bangalore, India.
JDS SELLS OTTAWA PLANT: JDS Uniphase has sold its largest remaining
Ottawa manufacturing facility to Bangkok-based electronics maker
Fabrinet, which is expected to transfer the operation to Asia. The
sale does not include JDSU's R&D group in Ottawa.
DUBAI GROUP MAY BUY CANADIAN CALL CENTRE: Multi International Invest
of Dubai says it plans to make an offer to buy all outstanding shares
of Toronto-based call center service bureau Minacs Worldwide for
approximately $160 million. Minacs has formed a special committee to
consider the proposal.
** The Minacs Board has appointed three new directors, and
says this makes it unnecessary to call the special meeting
of shareholders sought by company founder Elaine Minacs.
(See Telecom Update #516)
MICROSOFT OFFERS PUSH-EMAIL WIRELESS SOFTWARE: Microsoft has announced
an upgrade to its Windows Mobile software that will add "Direct Push"
email capability. It has also unveiled Windows Mobile-based devices
using this software, which it hopes will compete effectively with
Research In Motion's BlackBerry.
CABLE RESULTS SHINE AT QUEBECOR: Videotron's fourth quarter revenue of
$278 million was 20% higher than the same period a year ago. Operating
income increased 14% to $99.9 million, and monthly revenue per user
rose 12% to $52. The expansion of VoIP services led to a 30% rise in
business telecom income.
** Revenue of Videotron's owner, Quebecor, dropped 8% to
IIT APPOINTS NEW CHAIR: The Montreal-based International Institute of
Telecommunications has named as its chair Mary-Ann Bell, a Senior VP
at Bell Canada.
** The IIT has agreed to conduct joint research with CRIM (formerly
Centre de recherch informatique de Montreal). Both organizations
are supported by the Quebec government.
VoIP USERS GROUP TO MEET: The March 2 meeting of the Toronto VoIP
Users Group, formed last November to represent business users of VoIP
products and services, will feature speakers from Richardson Partners
Financial and Symbol Technologies.
CORRECTION -- PERSONA CABLE SUBS: Telecom Update #516 incorrectly
reported that Persona Communications has 2.9 million cable
subscribers. The correct number is 229,000.
TELEMANAGEMENT LIVE SETS GOLF TOURNAMENT: The 2006 Telemanagement Live
Charity Golf Tournament will be held Wednesday, May 31, at Caledon Country
Club, north of Toronto. Proceeds will be donated to Canada's
Telecommunications Hall of Fame and the Terry Fox Foundation. For details,
and to register: www.telemanagementlive.com/golf.html
** This year's Telemanagement Live! conference will be co-
located with ICCM Canada (formerly Call Centre Canada) at
the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, October 24-25.
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