Telecom Update #507, November 25, 2005

************************************************************ TELECOM UPDATE ************************************************************ published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
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Number 507: November 25, 2005

Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous financial support from:

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** Telus to Merge Wireline and Wireless ** TWU Members Accept Telus Contract ** Ottawa Funds Four Broadband Projects ** CRTC Calls Cellcos on Carpet Over Privacy ** Telecom Legislation Doomed ** Kingston Hospital Installs Integrated Wireless ** Aliant Mobility Offers Push-to-Talk ** New COO at Telecom Ottawa ** CRTC Turns Down Telus-Videotron Fibre Swap ** Quebec ISPs Challenge Bell DSL Rates ** Bell & Rogers Exceed Spectrum Limits ** RIM Plans Support Centre in Halifax ** Mitel Opens B.C. Sales Centre ** Yet Another Teleglobe Suit Against BCE ** Bell to Retail Virgin Mobile's Phones ** Yak Promises Unlimited Long Distance ** Videotron Extends Telephone Service ** Cisco Buys Toronto IP-Provisioning Assets ** MDA, Com Dev Divide Up Space Technology Unit ** Telecom Update's Newest Sponsor


TELUS TO MERGE WIRELINE AND WIRELESS: Telus Mobility and Telus Communications are being merged into a single operating structure. The company says this will help to "leverage the ongoing convergence between wireless and wireline technology." Telus will continue to release separate financial reports for wireless.

** Hughes St. Pierre, head of Telus Quebec, is retiring.

** Wade Oosterman, expected by many to take over Telus Mobility following George Cope's departure (see Telecom Update #502), is "in discussions" with CEO Darren Entwistle about his future.

TWU MEMBERS ACCEPT TELUS CONTRACT: Members of the Telecommunications Workers Union have voted to accept a new five-year contract with Telus. Of 10,566 members who cast ballots, 64.1% voted in favor.

OTTAWA FUNDS FOUR BROADBAND PROJECTS: The federal government this week announced funding for four projects that will extend high-speed Internet access to rural and remote communities in various parts of Canada.

** $9.72 million from the National Satellite Initiative to Falcon Communications, which is owned by six indigenous peoples' organizations, to extend service to 31 aboriginal communities in the Northwest Territories.

** $735,527 from the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development (BRAND) Pilot Program to extend service to 21 communities in the Portneuf area of Quebec.

** $973,592 from the BRAND Pilot Program to the Matawa First Nations Management organization, located in Thunder Bay, to extend service to eight communities in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory.

** $591,677 from the BRAND Pilot Program to the Community Futures Development Corporation of Boundary Area to extend service to 23 communities in south-central British Columbia.

CRTC CALLS CELLCOS ON CARPET OVER PRIVACY: The November 21 issue of Maclean's reported that a U.S. data broker was able to obtain telephone call records of Canada's privacy commissioner, among others. The CRTC has ordered Bell, Telus, and Rogers to investigate this incident, and to report by November 28 on what privacy safeguards were in place at the time, as well as any additional safeguards that they are implementing.

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TELECOM LEGISLATION DOOMED: It seems very likely that a new federal election will be called next week. That will kill all pending legislation, including C-37, which would have established Do-Not-Call rules for telemarketers; C-73, which would have given the CRTC the power to impose fines; and C-74, which would have established rules for Internet wiretaps (see Telecom Update #503 and #506).

TELECOM LEGISLATION DOOMED: It seems very likely that a new federal election will be called next week. That will kill all pending legislation, including C-37, which would have established Do-Not-Call rules for telemarketers (see Telecom Update #503) and C-73, which would have given the CRTC the power to impose fines (see Telecom Update #506).

KINGSTON HOSPITAL INSTALLS INTEGRATED WIRELESS: Kingston General Hospital has launched a Wi-Fi system that integrates wireless devices with point-of-care computers and provides mobile patient data access and data entry. The system, installed by Bell Canada, also provides wireless phone and Internet access in patient-care areas.

ALIANT MOBILITY OFFERS PUSH-TO-TALK: Aliant now offers a push-to-talk mobile service, using the brand name 10-4. The service, which requires special handsets, costs $15/month in addition to a regular rate plan. (See Telecom Update #473)

NEW COO AT TELECOM OTTAWA: Tom Moss, who previously held positions at AT&T Canada, Bell Canada, and Rogers Telecom, has been named Chief Operating Officer of Telecom Ottawa, a subsidiary of Ottawa Hydro. He replaces Dave Dobbin, who left to join Toronto Hydro Telecom in August. (see Telecom Update #491)

CRTC TURNS DOWN TELUS-VIDEOTRON FIBRE SWAP: The CRTC has refused to approve fibre-swap and fibre-lease agreements between Telus and Videotron. The CRTC says that any provision of dark fibre by Telus must comply with its optical fibre tariffs.

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QUEBEC ISPs CHALLENGE BELL DSL RATES: A coalition of 15 Quebec ISPs has complained to the CRTC that Bell Canada's retail DSL rates undercut the wholesale rates they must pay in order to provide an equivalent service, and that other Bell practices are causing them harm.

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BELL & ROGERS EXCEED SPECTRUM LIMITS: Industry Canada has informed Rogers and Bell Canada that, by pooling wireless broadband spectrum holdings in their Inukshuk joint venture (see Telecom Update #497), they exceed the 100 MHz spectrum limit in 27 instances. They have until December 15 to tell the Ministry how they will comply with their licence conditions.

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RIM PLANS SUPPORT CENTRE IN HALIFAX: Research In Motion plans to establish a technical support operations centre in Halifax next year. The company says the centre will eventually employ up to 1,200 full-time IT people.

** Nova Scotia will provide a performance-based payroll rebate of up to $14 million plus $5 million in recruitment and training incentives. MITEL OPENS B.C. SALES CENTRE: Mitel Networks has opened a "solutions showcase" and support centre for its Western Canada operations in Burnaby, B.C.

YET ANOTHER TELEGLOBE SUIT AGAINST BCE: The Plan Administrator of Teleglobe Inc. is suing BCE and seven former Teleglobe directors for $3 billion, alleging that they "oppressed" Teleglobe when it was a BCE subsidiary. BCE, which faces other Teleglobe-related suits, said the lawsuit is "without merit." (See Telecom Update #372, 435)

BELL TO RETAIL VIRGIN MOBILE'S PHONES: Bell Canada is now offering Virgin Mobile cellphones and accessories in its retail stores across Canada. (See Telecom Update #471)

YAK PROMISES UNLIMITED LONG DISTANCE: Yak Communications says that in January it will launch a new service offering unlimited long distance calling in Canada and the U.S. for $24.99 a month. The service will use VoIP network facilities provided by Las Vegas-based CommPartners Inc.

VIDEOTRON EXTENDS TELEPHONE SERVICE: Videotron has begun offering local telephone service to residents of the North Shore of Montreal.

CISCO BUYS TORONTO IP-PROVISIONING ASSETS: Toronto-based Digital Fairway Corp. has sold its IP Telephony Provisioner product and development team and other assets to Cisco Systems for US$15.25 million.

MDA, COM DEV DIVIDE UP SPACE TECHNOLOGY UNIT: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond B.C. is buying the Montreal division of EMS Technologies, and selling the unit's space-related assets to Com Dev International for $5 million.

TELECOM UPDATE'S NEWEST SPONSOR: We're very pleased to welcome Microsoft Canada as a sponsor of Telecom Update. They join the distinguished group of companies whose generous support allows us to continue publishing Canada's most widely read telecom newsletter at no charge to subscribers.

** Sponsors have no influence on the editorial content of Telecom Update, which is solely the responsibility of Angus TeleManagement Group.



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The information and data included has been obtained from sources which we believe to be reliable, but Angus TeleManagement makes no warranties or representations whatsoever regarding accuracy, completeness, or adequacy. Opinions expressed are based on interpretation of available information, and are subject to change. If expert advice on the subject matter is required, the services of a competent professional should be obtained.


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