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IN THIS ISSUE:
Statscan -- Wireless Revenues Hit New High TWU Votes on Another Telus Contract Telus Begins EVDO Rollout Cellcos Plan Wireless Payments U.S. Government Opposes BlackBerry Sales Ban Cablecos Support VoIP Ruling2006 Contribution Level Set Bell, Nortel Deploy Broadband in Chapleau More JDS Layoffs in Ottawa International Voice Business Improves Total Telcom Selling Assets Sasktel, Virgin Top Cellco Satisfaction Survey Hamilton Gets Cogeco Phone Service Prevost to Head MTS Marketing Videotron Expands ExpressVu Suit Telus Profit Up 21%
STATSCAN -- WIRELESS REVENUES HIT NEW HIGH: Statistics Canada issued its quarterly report on the telecom industry this week, covering the second quarter of 2005. The wireless industry added 438,000 customers; operating revenues for wireless carriers reached an all-time record of $2.7 billion, up 16.1% from a year earlier.** Wireline service continues to decline: at the end of June there were 19.2 million traditional residential and business lines in service, a 1.4% drop. Wireline revenues fell 2.8%, to $5.5 billion. TWU VOTES ON ANOTHER TELUS CONTRACT: The Telecommunications Workers Union has submitted another five-year contract with to its membership for a vote. A TWU representative said support for the strike is weakening in Alberta, and the federal government had threatened to order a new vote on the previous proposal. (See Telecom Update #501, 504)
** This vote is being conducted by mail; the previous one was held at a series of membership meetings.** Telus says that all unionized employees in B.C. have remained off the job, but that 56% of union members in Alberta were reporting to work by September 30, up from 29% at the beginning of the action.
TELUS BEGINS EVDO ROLLOUT: Speaking to analysts on November 10, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said that next week Telus Mobility will begin offering high-speed mobile data communications in five cities using EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) technology.
CELLCOS PLAN WIRELESS PAYMENTS: Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, and Telus Mobility have formed a joint venture, Wireless Payment Services, which aims to market a mobile commerce service within the next year. The service is to provide standardized wireless access to existing payment schemes.
U.S. GOVERNMENT OPPOSES BLACKBERRY SALES BAN: The U.S. government has told a Virginia court that an injunction against BlackBerry sales and services would "prevent RIM from providing the services that would be essential" to enable U.S. government authorities to continue use of BlackBerry devices.** Judge James Spencer has promised to "move swiftly" to settle the dispute between Research In Motion and NTP Inc. He may enforce either his previous injunction against BlackBerry sales in the U.S., or the failed March agreement between RIM and NTP. (See Telecom Update #485)
CABLECOS SUPPORT VoIP RULING: The Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association has asked the Cabinet to uphold the CRTC's ruling on VoIP regulation. The CCTA says the VoIP market needs "basic safeguards to prevent anti-competitive behaviour." (See Telecom Update #481, 490)2006 CONTRIBUTION LEVEL SET: CRTC Telecom Decision 2005-68 finalizes the 2005 contribution fee paid by all telecommunications service providers at 1.03%, and sets the 2006 fee at the same percentage on an interim basis. BELL, NORTEL DEPLOY BROADBAND IN CHAPLEAU: Project Chapleau, a "technology showcase" developed by Bell Canada, Nortel, and the Township of Chapleau, has turned on high-speed networking in the Northern Ontario community, using Nortel "Wireless Mesh" technology. Researchers will study the project's impact on the community over the next 14 months.
MORE JDS LAYOFFS IN OTTAWA: JDS Uniphase will cut another 300 jobs in Ottawa in 2006, leaving only 400 employees in a city where it had11,000 four years ago. The company is shifting all manufacturing to Asia and Europe.
INTERNATIONAL VOICE BUSINESS IMPROVES: Researchers at TeleGeography say that after a period of stagnation or decline, the international voice business is growing again. Global cross-border traffic grew 14% in 2004 and has continued to grow in 2005. International voice revenues reached $65.2 billion in 2004, up 7%.** TeleGeography expects that international voice traffic in 2005 will make up 16% of the global market. TOTAL TELCOM SELLING ASSETS: Alberta-based Total Telcom Inc. says it has agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary, Total Telcom Fiber Inc, to an undisclosed third party for $4.7 million and 90% of fibre sales for five years. The subsidiary owns all of the corporation's fibre facilities.
SASKTEL, VIRGIN TOP CELLCO SATISFACTION SURVEY: J.D. Power and Associates says that SaskTel Mobility ranks number one in customer satisfaction with contracted wireless service, while Virgin Mobile, ranks highest in prepaid.
HAMILTON GETS COGECO PHONE SERVICE: Cogeco Cable now offers its Digital Phone service to most residents in Hamilton. The rest of the city will be covered by the end of 2006.
PREVOST TO HEAD MTS MARKETING: Dean Prevost, Allstream's Executive VP Consumer Operations, has been named Chief Marketing Officer of Manitoba Telecom, Allstream's parent company. Allstream VP Peter Ronan is now the unit's Executive VP Sales.
VIDEOTRON EXPANDS EXPRESSVU SUIT: Videotron has increased the sum it is seeking in a lawsuit against Bell ExpressVu to $374 million. The lawsuit, filed in August, claims that ExpressVu has not done enough to protect its broadcast signal from piracy. (See Telecom Update #359,395)
TELUS PROFIT UP 21%: Telus third-quarter revenues of $2.06 billion were 6% higher than the same period last year. Net income rose 21% to $190 million. Wireline sales were flat, but wireless revenue rose 16% and now makes up 42% of Telus's total sales.** Telus says the strike of unionized workers contributed to a decline of 2.2% in network access lines and a low increase in high-speed Internet subscribers. ============================================================
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