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IN THIS ISSUE:** Bell AGM Okays Income Trust ** Nortel Loss Increases in First Quarter ** Avaya, Mitel Show New IP Phones ** Rogers Wireless Offers Name Display ** Ottawa and Bell Agree on Expanded Calling ** Primus Appeals Winback Change ** Do-Not-Call Replies Filed ** CRTC Seeks Comment on "Rate Range" Tariffs ** Montreal Wants Cellphone Ban ** CRTC Receives VoIP Review Comments ** Hennessy Joins Telus ** Barrett Seeks Review of Deferral Account Decision ** New Ground Station for Northern Sat-Phones ** ORION Presents Innovation Awards ** New Titles for Cisco Head ** Glentel Offers Vonage Service ** Conference Seeks Telecom Speakers ** Correction -- SaskTel Local Rates
BELL AGM OKAYS INCOME TRUST: At this week's General Meeting, 99.2% of Bell Canada shareholders voted in favour of the plan to create a "Regional Lines" income trust in Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces. (See Telecom Update #515)
NORTEL LOSS INCREASES IN FIRST QUARTER: Nortel Networks posted a first quarter loss of US$167 million, compared with $104 million a year earlier. Revenue was flat at $2.38 billion; Nortel's cash balance dropped 8% on the quarter to $2.7 billion.** Nortel's partnership with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, announced with great fanfare a few months ago, has been quietly scrapped. The two companies hoped to bid on broadband equipment contracts for major U.S. carriers, but the Nortel/Huawei combination was not included in recent RFPs issued by AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth. (See Telecom Update #515)
AVAYA, MITEL SHOW NEW IP PHONES: Both Avaya and Mitel Networks unveiled new IP phones last week.** Avaya's one-X Deskphone Edition offers high-fidelity audio, using the G.722 wideband codec, as well as usability and conferencing enhancements.
** Mitel's new 5330 and 5340 IP phones provide 24 and 48 customizable keys plus wideband handsets; its Wireless Phone Stand gives a wired Mitel phone multi-user WLAN capability.
ROGERS WIRELESS OFFERS NAME DISPLAY: Rogers Wireless says it is the first North American cellco to offer name display, which shows the names of landline callers in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland as well as of Rogers and Fido callers. Price (including number display): $8 a month.
OTTAWA AND BELL AGREE ON EXPANDED CALLING: After years of negotiations, the City of Ottawa and Bell Canada have agreed to a plan to expand the local calling area to include the entire city. If the plan is approved by the CRTC, Bell will be reimbursed for lost long distance revenue by surcharges of 63 cents a month on residential lines, and 59 cents on business lines, for three years.** The CRTC's usual policy is to give automatic approval to any such plan if the monthly increase is less than $1.
PRIMUS APPEALS WINBACK CHANGE: Primus Telecommunications has submitted a Part VII application asking the CRTC to restore the requirement that incumbent telcos must wait 12 months before attempting to win back local phone customers from competitors. (See Telecom Update #524)
CRTC RECEIVES VoIP REVIEW COMMENTS: Twenty-three organizations have submitted comments to the Cabinet-ordered review of the CRTC's decision on the regulatory treatment of Voice over IP services. (See Telecom Update #529)** There are no surprises: the incumbent telcos want the decision overturned and their competitors disagree.
BARRETT SEEKS REVIEW OF DEFERRAL ACCOUNT DECISION: Barrett Xplore, which last month asked the federal Cabinet to halt implementation of the CRTC's "Deferral Account" decision, has now asked the CRTC to review and change it. The New Brunswick ISP says that using the money to finance the telcos' rural broadband expansion will harm it and other competitors. (See Telecom Update #530)
NEW GROUND STATION FOR NORTHERN SAT-PHONES: Globalstar has received regulatory approval for a sixth North American ground station, located in Wasilla, Alaska. The satellite phone provider says the station, which will begin operations on June 30, will improve reception in Yukon and northwest B.C.
ORION PRESENTS INNOVATION AWARDS: On June 5, Ontario's research network ORION presented innovation awards to:** The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory team, for underground research connected by ORION to partners around the world.
** Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning, for interactive educational videoconferencing.** Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET), a consortium of academic and research organizations, for providing supercomputing resources.
NEW TITLES FOR CISCO HEAD: Following this year's AGM in November, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, will also hold the title of Chairman, but will give up the title of President. The current chair, John Morgridge, is retiring; there has been no announcement of a new president.
GLENTEL OFFERS VONAGE SERVICE: Vonage start-up kits are now being sold through Glentel Inc's 145 WirelessWave, Telephone Booth, and La Cabine Telephonique retail mall stores.
CONFERENCE SEEKS TELECOM SPEAKERS: Enterprise Networks 2006, the Angus Dortmans conference scheduled for October 24-26 in Toronto, has issued a call for speakers. Proposals should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 22.
CORRECTION -- SASKTEL LOCAL RATES: Last week's Telecom Update incorrectly reported that SaskTel is reducing local rates in nine cities. The reduction, from $22 to $21.54 a month, applies only in Regina and Saskatoon.
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