Telecom Update #541, August 11, 2006




published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group

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Number 541: August 11, 2006

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** Telecom Union Ousts President ** Videotron Offers Wireless Phones ** Sprint to Build U.S.-Wide WiMAX Network ** Telus to Sell Amp'd Services in Canada ** Bell Aliant Appeals Rebate Ruling ** U.S. Broadband Spectrum Auction Under Way ** Comment Sought on 3.6 GHz Spectrum Licensing ** Cogeco Joins the Broadband Wars ** Court Refuses to Block AT&T Suit ** Fido Adds City-Only Rate Plan ** Discussion Opens on Bell Rate Hike ** Telus Quebec to Offer Wholesale Ethernet & DSL ** Nortel, Ciena Bury Hatchet--Again ** Videotron Adds 56,000 Phone Customers ** Shaw Buys Kenora Cableco ** Cisco Sales Rise 21% ** Nakina Names New CEO

TELECOM UNION OUSTS PRESIDENT: Bruce Bell has been removed as President of the Telecommunications Workers Union. In March, widespread dissatisfaction with the outcome of last year's strike at Telus led to a membership meeting that voted non-confidence in Bell. When he refused to resign, charges were laid under the union's constitution, and a Trial Board recommended that he be fired. Bell can appeal the decision to the Canadian Labour Congress.

VIDEOTRON OFFERS WIRELESS PHONES: Videotron has launched its version of the much-hyped "quadruple-play" by adding cellular phone service to its product line in Quebec City. A bundle including a residential phone, Basic Internet, digital cable, and a cellphone with 300 anytime minutes, is $94.95/month, all fees included.

** Videotron is using Rogers' wireless network, but will provide its own customer service, billing, and marketing. The company plans to roll out wireless service in the rest of its territory by year-end.

SPRINT TO BUILD U.S.-WIDE WIMAX NETWORK: U.S. carrier Sprint Nextel has announced plans for national deployment of a "4G" broadband wireless network using WiMAX technology. Sprint says it will invest at least US$2.5 billion by 2008 on the venture, working together with Intel, Motorola, and Samsumg.

TELUS TO SELL AMP'D SERVICES IN CANADA: Telus has announced an exclusive agreement to sell and distribute mobile entertainment, gaming, information, and messaging services developed by Amp'd Mobile Inc, beginning early in 2007. The youth-oriented services will be available only to users of Telus's Wireless High Speed (EVDO) services.

** California-based Amp'd describes itself as "the first integrated mobile entertainment company that fully optimizes third generation (3G) functionality."

BELL ALIANT APPEALS REBATE RULING: Bell Aliant has asked the CRTC to amend its ruling in Telecom Decision 2006-27, to exclude 100% (instead of 50%) of the effects of the 2004 strike from its quality of service calculations. Since the telco has already paid customer rebates based on the earlier ruling, it wants to recover the money through a future application. (See Telecom Update #530, 535)

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U.S. BROADBAND SPECTRUM AUCTION UNDER WAY: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission began a major spectrum auction on August 9:

168 parties are bidding on 1,122 broadband wireless licences in the 1.7 GHz to 2.1 GHz spectrum bands. The licences are expected to be used for Advanced Wireless Services including voice, Internet access, and full-motion video. The FCC hopes to raise US$15 billion.

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COMMENT SOUGHT ON 3.6 GHz SPECTRUM LICENSING: In Gazette Notice DGTP-006-06, Industry Canada invites comments by October 27 on its proposed policies for licensing spectrum in the 3650-3700 MHz band for wireless broadband applications.

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COGECO JOINS THE BROADBAND WARS: Cogeco has raised the maximum download speed of its standard Internet service, formerly 7 Mbps, to 10 Mbps, and the maximum for its "Pro" service from 10 Mbps to 16 Mbps. (See Telecom Update #540)

COURT REFUSES TO BLOCK AT&T SUIT: A U.S. court has rejected a Bush administration attempt to halt a lawsuit that accuses AT&T of illegally allowing the government to monitor phone calls without warrants (see Telecom Update #540). Seventeen similar lawsuits against other carriers have now been combined with the AT&T case.

FIDO ADDS CITY-ONLY RATE PLAN: Rogers' Fido service has added a new rate plan that offers 400 outgoing airtime minutes and unlimited incoming calling within a single urban area for $30 a month. "Suburban" calling is $5/month extra.

DISCUSSION OPENS ON BELL RATE HIKE: CRTC Telecom Public Notice 2006-11 invites comment on the Bell and Bell Aliant proposal to raise all residential phone rates by 80 cents/month, and to eliminate connection charges for new or moving residential customers. (See Telecom Update #537)

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2006-50 directs Telus Communications to file wholesale tariffs for Ethernet transport and DSL services, including dry loop DSL capability, in its Quebec territory.

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NORTEL, CIENA BURY HATCHET--AGAIN: Nortel Networks and Ciena Corp. have settled two patent lawsuits and signed a patent cross-licence agreement. The dispute goes back to an earlier patent disagreement that appeared to be settled in January 2003.

VIDEOTRON ADDS 56,000 PHONE CUSTOMERS: During the second quarter, Videotron added 1,200 cable TV, 28,800 Internet, and 56,200 cable phone customers, increasing its cable-phone subscriber base (residential and business) to 283,000.

** Problems in the printing division of Videotron's parent company, Quebecor Inc, resulted in an overall decline of 6% in sales and 75% in profits.

SHAW BUYS KENORA CABLECO: Shaw Communications has agreed to buy Norcom Telecommunications Ltd, a Kenora-based cableco that serves 7,000 customers in 15 northwest Ontario communities.

CISCO SALES RISE 21%: Cisco Systems revenue for the quarter ended July

29 was US$7.98 billion, an increase of 20.9% over the same quarter a year ago, or 12.1% if the effects of the recent Scientific-Atlanta acquisition are not included. Net income of $1.54 billion was unchanged from last year.

NAKINA NAMES NEW CEO: Ottawa-based Nakina Systems, which makes network management software for carriers, has named Marco Pagani as President and CEO, replacing co-founder David Vicary. (See Telecom Update #527)



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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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