published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
Number 536: June 30, 2006
Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous
financial support from:
** AVAYA: www.avaya.ca/
** 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=20
** VONAGE CANADA: www.vonage.ca
IN THIS ISSUE:
** Telecom Update Takes a Summer Break
** Microsoft to Expand Business Telephony Portfolio
** Feds Invite Comment on Direction to CRTC
** Bell Buys Executive Communications
** Nortel to Lay Off 1,900
** Rogers Makes All New Brunswick Calls Local
** RIM Adds 680,000 Subscribers
** Launch Date Set for Bell-Aliant Income Trust
** CRTC Reports New Media Stats
** Drivers on Cellphones as Bad as Drunks
** Telcos Rank High in Profit Report
** New Brunswick Completes Broadband Extension
** CLECs Slam Telcos for "We Miss You" Cards
** Telcos' Broadband Proposals Now Due September 1
** Northwestel Hearing July 10
** Yak for Sale
** Minacs Finds a Buyer
** Aliant Launches Hotspots
** SaskTel, Alcatel Plan Combined Research
** Glentel Buys Ontario Wireless Dealer
** In Memoriam: Jim McDaniel
TELECOM UPDATE TAKES A SUMMER BREAK: Telecom Update is taking a week
off. The next issue will be published Friday, July 14.
MICROSOFT TO EXPAND BUSINESS TELEPHONY PORTFOLIO: Microsoft says the
2007 edition of MS Office will offer presence-based VoIP call
management along with conferencing and messaging
functions. Microsoft's Communications Server 2007 will support a
unified communications client available in desktop, browser-based, and
mobile versions, and desk phones supplied by Nortel Networks and other
** Microsoft has postponed the release of Office 2007,
originally scheduled for year-end, until early next year.
FEDS INVITE COMMENT ON DIRECTION TO CRTC: Cabinet's proposed policy
direction to the CRTC has been published in the Canada Gazette. The
proposed text would direct the CRTC to rely on market forces "to the
maximum extent feasible" under the Telecommunications Act (see Telecom
Update #534). Public comments are due by August 16.
** An accompanying Regulatory Impact statement, which is
not part of the proposed policy direction, says that
"maintaining the current regulatory framework is not a
BELL BUYS EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS: Bell Canada has acquired Executive
Communications Ltd, a Toronto-area provider of business
telecommunications systems, for an undisclosed amount. ECL is one of the
longest-surviving competitive telecom equipment providers in Canada:
founded in 1973 to sell intercoms, it installed its first "interconnect"
PBX in the fall of 1979.
** This follows Bell's acquisition of Kitchener-based J&D
Systems in January.
NORTEL TO LAY OFF 1,900: Nortel Networks plans to eliminate 1,900 jobs
worldwide, while creating 800 positions in Mexico and Turkey. The
company says it will also reduce pension benefits by US$100 million a
** At this week's AGM, CEO Mike Zafirovski said he is "not
interested in selling or merging Nortel with somebody
ROGERS MAKES ALL NEW BRUNSWICK CALLS LOCAL: New Brunswick users of
Rogers Home Phone service can call anywhere in the province by dialing
seven digits: no long distance charges will apply. The cableco begins
offering service in Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John on July 1;
more areas will be added in the fall.
RIM ADDS 680,000 SUBSCRIBERS: Research In Motion reports sales of
US$613 million for the quarter ended June 3, 35% more than the same
period a year ago. RIM added 680,000 subscribers, 5,000 more than its
previous forecast. Net income: $129.8 million.
LAUNCH DATE SET FOR BELL-ALIANT INCOME TRUST: BCE and Aliant say they
expect to complete arrangements for creation of the Bell Aliant
Regional Communications Income Fund on July 7, and will officially
launch it on July 10. The trust will own Aliant's wireline operations,
Bell's wireline operations in smaller cities and rural areas, and
Bell's share of Bell Nordiq.
CRTC REPORTS NEW MEDIA STATS: The CRTC's latest Broadcasting Policy
Monitoring Report includes these statistics on "new media" in 2005:
** 74% of Canadian households had computers, and 78% of Canadians
accessed the Internet.
** 59% of Canadians used cellphones, 3% used a Blackberry, 7%
used PDAs, 12% an MP3 player, 4% iPod, and 8% a Web
** 2% of cellphone, Blackberry, and PDA owners used them for
watching TV, 3% for taking pictures or videos, 7% to
obtain news or weather, and 4% to get sports scores.
DRIVERS ON CELLPHONES AS BAD AS DRUNKS: Frank Drewes, co-author of a
University of Utah study published in the current issue of the journal
Human Factors, says they found that "people are as impaired when they
drive and talk on a cellphone as they are when they drive intoxicated
at the legal blood-alcohol limit."
** The study found no significant difference between use of
handsfree and handheld phones.
TELCOS RANK HIGH IN PROFIT REPORT: Canada's four largest incumbent
phone companies make the top 100 in the Globe & Mail's latest report
on Canada's 1,000 largest companies. Ranked by 2005 profits, Bell
Canada ($2.1 billion) is in eighth place. Telus ($700 million) is
number 42, Manitoba Tel ($213 million) is number 76, and Aliant ($199
million) is number 81.
** The only cableco to make the top 100 is Shaw, which is
number 96 with profits of $160 million.
NEW BRUNSWICK COMPLETES BROADBAND EXTENSION: The New Brunswick Broadband
Initiative, extending broadband access to health care centres, business
parks, First Nations Communities, and most residences and businesses in
327 rural communities, has been completed six months ahead of schedule
(see Telecom Update #474).
** Funding was provided by the federal government ($16.5
million from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund),
the New Brunswick government ($12.5 million), and Aliant
CLECs SLAM TELCOS FOR "WE MISS YOU" CARDS: Two cablecos have complained
to the CRTC that "customer appreciation" cards sent by incumbent phone
companies to their former local service customers are violating the
** Quebecor says that though Bell Canada's new cards don't
include a phone number for customers to call, the practice
is still a violation of the rules set out in Telecom
Decision 2006-17 (see Telecom Update #524). Bell says the
new cards comply with the rules.
** Shaw says that Telus's "we miss you" cards, which do
provide a phone number for customers to call, are "in all
material respects identical" to the original Bell cards
outlawed by the CRTC. Telus says it has stopped sending
TELCOS' BROADBAND PROPOSALS NOW DUE SEPTEMBER 1: Responding to a request
by the CNIB and 11 other national disability organizations, the CRTC has
extended to September 1 the deadline for the incumbent telcos to file
proposals for spending accumulated deferral account funds on expanding
rural broadband coverage and improving accessibility for disabled
persons. (See Telecom Update #517)
NORTHWESTEL HEARING JULY 10: A public hearing on the regulatory
framework for Northwestel (see Telecom Update #513) will begin in
Whitehorse on July 10 and is scheduled to end by July 21. Comments from
the general public will be heard on the first day of the hearing, in
person or by teleconference from Fort Nelson, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit.
YAK FOR SALE: Dialaround long distance specialist Yak Communications
says it has engaged Orion Securities "to advise the Company with
regard to its various strategic alternatives, including the potential
sale of the Company." Yak says it has 850,000 customers and $10
million in cash.
MINACS FINDS A BUYER: Call centre outsourcer Minacs Worldwide has agreed
to be purchased by TransWorks Information Services of India, which is
offering about $120 million. Minacs CEO Bruce Simmonds says that the
takeover will not lead to a shift of jobs out of Canada. (See Telecom
ALIANT LAUNCHES HOTSPOTS: Aliant now offers Wi-Fi based Internet
access in airports and marine terminals and a casino in seven Atlantic
communities, in collaboration with Halifax-based SolutionInc Ltd.
SASKTEL, ALCATEL PLAN COMBINED RESEARCH: SaskTel and Alcatel have
signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a 20-person joint R&D
centre in Saskatchewan. The centre's software products will be
marketed internationally by both partners.
GLENTEL BUYS ONTARIO WIRELESS DEALER: Glentel has agreed to buy Digital
Mobile Systems, a wireless systems dealer with six locations in
southwest Ontario, for $2.5 million.
IN MEMORIAM: JIM McDANIEL: Jim McDaniel, one of the best-known figures
in Canadian business telecommunications, died of cancer on June 18, at
the age of 88. He was a strong advocate for telecom competition, and a
consistent supporter of the interests of business telecom users.
Jim was one of the last of the generation of telecom executives who rose
from the ranks: he started as a telegram delivery boy in the 1930s, and
eventually rose to top positions in sales and marketing at CNCP
Telecommunications, Unitel, and AT&T Canada. He remained active in
telecommunications well into the 1990s.
Angus TeleManagement Group enjoyed many opportunities to work with Jim
over the years, and we were always impressed with his passionate
dedication to business telecommunications. We extend our sympathy to
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