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IN THIS ISSUE:** Ten Years of Telecom Update ** Rogers Telecom Buys GT Fibre From Bell ** Cellcos Oppose Early Number Portability ** Rogers Signs 18,000 Phone Subscribers ** Bell, Matthews Join for Business Applications ** Wireless Revenues Jump 16% ** Emerson May Favor Local Deregulation ** Starbucks and Bell Begin Wi-Fi Rollout ** Bell Not Required to Collect Directory Bills ** Aliant Wants Automatic Contract Renewals ** Bell Seeks Higher Rural Business Rates ** Meriton Acquires Mahi Networks ** Telecom Ottawa Adds SONET, WDM ** RFP Seeks Ontario Optical Net ** Aliant Offers Flat-Rate Cellular LD ** Cygnal Restructures Debt; CFO Quits ** One Week to Telemanagement Live
TEN YEARS OF TELECOM UPDATE: Happy Birthday to us! This is issue number 500 of Telecom Update. We launched it in September 1995 as an experiment in electronic publishing, and it soon became the most widely read telecommunications newsletter in Canada.** Telecom Update is distributed free of charge, thanks to generous support from our sponsors. All 500 issues are available on line at providing a unique outline history of a decade of dramatic change.
ROGERS TELECOM BUYS GT FIBRE FROM BELL: Rogers Telecom (formerly Call-Net) has paid $23.6 million to Bell Canada to purchase 7,700 route kilometres of fibre in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. The fibre was formerly owned by Group Telecom, which was acquired by Bell in 2004. (See Telecom Update #435, 458, 480)** Rogers has an option to buy more GT fibre in Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland by the end of 2006.
CELLCOS OPPOSE EARLY NUMBER PORTABILITY: Replying to a CRTC request for ways to speed up wireless number portability, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association says that preparing alternate scenarios would be costly and time-consuming, and that the original plan to implement WNP nationally by September 2007 is "both aggressive and reasonable." (See Telecom Update #497)** The major cellcos agree, saying that an earlier target date would create many technical problems and would be unfair to consumers. ** The CRTC has received over two dozen comments from consumers, all irate at waiting another two years for WNP.
ROGERS SIGNS 18,000 PHONE SUBSCRIBERS: Rogers Communications says its cable-based local phone service, launched on July 1, now has more than18,000 subscribers. (See Telecom Update #488)
** Rogers expects to add between 600,000 and 650,000 wireless subscribers in 2005, about a third more than its previous forecast. Net 3Q additions: 213,000.
BELL, MATTHEWS JOIN FOR BUSINESS APPLICATIONS: Bell Canada and Wesley Clover Corp. have jointly launched an Advanced Solutions Innovation Centre in Kanata, Ontario, to develop IP-based business applications. Wesley Clover, a holding company chaired by Terry Matthews, owns Mitel Networks, March Networks, and NewHeights Software.
WIRELESS REVENUES JUMP 16%: Statistics Canada says wireless telecom revenues grew 16%, to $2.5 billion, in Q1 2005. Canada now has over 15 million wireless subscribers, a penetration rate of 47%. Wireless now generates nearly one-third of total telecom revenues in Canada.** Wireline revenue fell 1.2% to $5.6 billion, and wireline network access lines fell by 1.2%, the thirteenth consecutive quarterly decline.
EMERSON MAY FAVOR LOCAL DEREGULATION: Interviewed by Bloomberg News this week, Industry Minister David Emerson said that eliminating the requirement for incumbent phone companies to get prior approval for price changes could improve the industry's efficiency. However, a spokesperson for the Minister later said he would not make any major moves in telecom before receiving the Telecom Policy Review panel's report.
STARBUCKS AND BELL BEGIN WI-FI ROLLOUT: Bell Canada and Starbucks say they will begin offering Wi-Fi service in 140 Starbucks outlets in Ontario this week, and will eventually deploy it in more than 400 stores across Canada. Bell has subcontracted installation and management of the networks to Ottawa-based Wi-Fi pioneer Boldstreet Inc.** Customers can have their Wi-Fi internet access billed to a cellphone bill, or pay by credit card.
BELL NOT REQUIRED TO COLLECT DIRECTORY BILLS: Following an expedited hearing on September 23 (see Telecom Update #498), the CRTC has ruled that billing and collection for directory advertising is not a telecommunications service, so Bell does not have to perform the service for YP Corp. if it does not wish to.
ALIANT WANTS AUTOMATIC CONTRACT RENEWALS: In Tariff Notice 178, Aliant Telecom asks the CRTC to approve a procedure for automatic renewal of contracts for Centrex and other business local services, effective October 31. Under the proposed rules, the telco must advise the customer 60 days in advance of the renewal, and the customer will be allowed to cancel up to 30 days after the renewal. Similar rules have been previously approved for other telcos.BELL SEEKS HIGHER RURAL BUSINESS RATES: Bell Canada Tariff Notices 6907 and 6908 propose increases of 8.5% to 9.9% in the monthly rates for individual business lines and for Local Link service in the rural and remote rate bands E, F, and G. Bell wants the CRTC to okay the rate hikes in time for implementation on December 4.
** The increases would not apply to sub-bands E1, F1, F3 and F5, which are part of larger exchanges.
MERITON ACQUIRES MAHI NETWORKS: Meriton Networks, an Ottawa-based provider of high-speed optical networking systems, is buying New Jersey-based Mahi Networks, which makes reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers.
TELECOM OTTAWA ADDS SONET, WDM: Telecom Ottawa now offers SONET, WDM, and storage extension services, using Ciena technology, as part of its10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in the Ottawa region.
RFP SEEKS ONTARIO OPTICAL NET: CANARIE and ORANO have issued a joint RFP for a next-generation network across southern Ontario with possible extensions to Montreal, Albany, and New York City as well as from Windsor to Chicago, as a basis for experiments with novel optical architectures over the CA*net 4 and ORION networks.
ALIANT OFFERS FLAT-RATE CELLULAR LD: Aliant cellular customers can now make unlimited long distance calls within Atlantic Canada for $20 per month.
CYGNAL RESTRUCTURES DEBT; CFO QUITS: Cygnal Technologies has obtained about $25 million in new financing to pay off bank debt and provide working capital.** CFO David Horsley has resigned; his interim replacement is Michael Conway.
ONE WEEK TO TELEMANAGEMENT LIVE! Canada's premier business telecom and networking event will be held October 17-19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Canada's top conference and tradeshow facility. Over 35 in-depth sessions will address the most important challenges facing enterprise telecom and network managers in Canada today.** This year's program also features the announcement of the first members of Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame, at a gala celebration and dinner.
** Space is limited: register now at
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