published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
Number 549: October 6, 2006
Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous
financial support from:
** AVAYA: www.avaya.ca/
** BELL CANADA: www.bell.ca/home/Home_Business.page
** BIG PIPE: www.bigpipeinc.com
** CISCO SYSTEMS CANADA: www.cisco.com/ca/
** ERICSSON: www.ericsson.ca
** MICROSOFT CANADA: www.microsoft.ca/communications/
** NEC UNIFIED SOLUTIONS: www.necunifiedsolutions.com
** ROGERS TELECOM: www.rogers.com/solutions
** VONAGE CANADA: www.vonage.ca
IN THIS ISSUE:
** MTS to Cut 325 More Jobs
** Canadian Rates Up, U.S. Rates Down
** Bernier Wants Cabinet to Deregulate VoIP
** Shaw Renames Four Subsidiaries
** AMEC Employees Embrace Cellphone Ban
** Dryden Weighs Sale of Civic Telco
** SaskTel Intros Voice Texting
** Telus Launches Location Services
** Rogers Wants Reversal of "Comma Ruling"
** Telus Seeks Change in Local Forbearance Rules
** Court Agrees to Hear Winback Appeal
** Price Cap Hearing Begins Next Week
** Cisco to Spend $100 Million on Awareness
** Rogers Launches BlackBerry Pearl
** Ontera Gets New GM
** Alcatel Expands Switch Portfolio
** Consultants Plan Forum on Wireless
MTS TO CUT 325 MORE JOBS: MTS Allstream plans to eliminate 325 jobs from
its Manitoba operations this year through a voluntary buyout plan. The
cuts, additional to 750 announced last November, are part of a $100
million a year cost reduction program. (See Telecom Update #508)
CANADIAN RATES UP, U.S. RATES DOWN: A study by SeaBoard Group finds
that Canadians still pay less for residential wireline phone service
than Americans, but the gap has narrowed over the past three years --
mainly because Canadian prices have risen substantially, while
U.S. prices have fallen slightly.
** Residential telephone service is least expensive in
Saskatchewan, the province where telecom competition is
** Seaboard says that Canadian VoIP services providers charge
more than U.S. and European VoIP providers for equivalent
BERNIER WANTS CABINET TO DEREGULATE VoIP: The Globe & Mail reports that
Industry Minister Maxime Bernier has asked the provinces for their input
on changing the CRTC's VoIP rules. The Minister was not pleased with
CRTC Telecom Decision 2006-53, in which the Commission last month
reaffirmed the VoIP rules it set last year and, for the second time,
declined to deregulate the incumbent telcos' VoIP services (see Telecom
** The Telecom Act allows Cabinet 90 days to "vary or rescind" such a
decision, and requires provincial consultation as part of the
SHAW RENAMES FOUR SUBSIDIARIES: Shaw Communications is renaming four
subsidiary companies to include the Shaw name. Big Pipe becomes Shaw
Business Solutions; Star Choice Communications becomes Star Choice, a
Shaw Company; Cancom Tracking becomes Shaw Tracking; and Cancom
Broadcast becomes Shaw Broadcast Services.
** The rebranding will be completed by December 31.
AMEC EMPLOYEES EMBRACE CELLPHONE BAN: One year ago AMEC, a B.C.-based
project management company, banned the use of cellphones by employees
while driving. The company now reports that 95% of its 4,000 employees
across North America say the ban has had no effect on their
productivity, and 83% say they have also stopped using cellphones while
driving outside working hours.
DRYDEN WEIGHS SALE OF CIVIC TELCO: The City of Dryden in northwest
Ontario has begun a review of strategic options for its municipal
phone company, including a possible sale of the business. Dryden
Municipal Telephone Services has 5,930 wireline customers.
SASKTEL INTROS VOICE TEXTING: SaskTel's new Say & Send service allows
postpaid cellular users to send voice messages to other SaskTel Mobility
customers. Messages cost 15 cents each; heavy users can send 100 for
$10/month or unlimited messages for $15/month. There is no charge to
receive a Say & Send message.
** The service uses sayTEXT Audio SMS, developed by New
Jersey-based uReach Technologies.
TELUS LAUNCHES LOCATION SERVICES: Telus is offering two new
cellphone-based GPS services: Navigator provides audio and visual
turn-by-turn directions similar to in-car navigation systems, and Kid
Find helps locate a cellphone user on an interactive map. The services
use Telus's 1X network in Alberta, B.C., and Ontario's Golden Horseshoe.
ROGERS WANTS REVERSAL OF "COMMA RULING": Rogers Communications has asked
the CRTC to reverse its previous ruling in which, based on the placement
of a comma, it allowed Aliant to end a pole-usage agreement with Rogers
early. Rogers argues that Telecom Decision 2006-45 was incorrect on
several grounds, and that the agreement should continue until May 2007.
(See Telecom Update #542)
TELUS SEEKS CHANGE IN LOCAL FORBEARANCE RULES: Telus has asked the CRTC
to change its criteria for deregulating local service. Telus wants the
CRTC to either eliminate the requirement that the telco has met
Competitor Quality of Service indicators for six months, or to apply it
more narrowly. (See Telecom Update #524)
COURT AGREES TO HEAR WINBACK APPEAL: The Federal Court has agreed to
hear an appeal by Aliant, Bell Canada, SaskTel, and Telus of the CRTC's
winback restrictions. The telcos argue that these restrictions violate
commercial freedom of speech guarantees under the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. The CRTC previously denied a similar application. (See Telecom
PRICE CAP HEARING BEGINS NEXT WEEK: The CRTC's oral hearing on Price
Caps begins on Tuesday in Gatineau, Quebec. The hearing, which will
include cross-examination of witnesses, is expected to last two weeks.
The Commission's website sets out the agenda, and will provide a live
audio feed and transcripts of the hearing.
CISCO TO SPEND $100 MILLION ON AWARENESS: Cisco Systems has launched a
US$100 million advertising campaign to boost consumer awareness of the
company and its products. The company believes that the campaign will
boost sales to businesses, because corporate end-users have an
increasing influence on technology buying decisions.
** Magazine, newspaper, and TV ads will feature the company's
new logo, which has been simplified to be more readable on
a wide variety of displays.
ROGERS LAUNCHES BLACKBERRY PEARL: Rogers Wireless is now selling the
BlackBerry Pearl for $249.99 on a three-year voice/data contract. (See
Telecom Update #545)
ONTERA GETS NEW GM: Ontario Northland has named a new general manager
for Ontera, its operating phone company. Paul Goulet, formerly the
telco's CIO, replaces Marc Rancourt, who has left the company.
ALCATEL EXPANDS SWITCH PORTFOLIO: Alcatel has added OmniSwitch 9600, a
"full-featured" model that is priced lower and has a smaller chassis, to
its OmniSwitch 9000 portfolio of 10 Gbps Ethernet switches.
CONSULTANTS PLAN FORUM ON WIRELESS: The Canadian Telecommunications
Consultants Association will hold a forum on current and future
developments in wireless communications on October 26 in Toronto. For
information, go to http://www.ctca.ca/EventDetails.asp?R=3D5&EV=3D68.
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