Telecom Update #558, December 8, 2006

************************************************************ TELECOM UPDATE ************************************************************

published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group

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Number 558: December 8, 2006

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

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** Study Finds No Cellphone Cancer Link ** Bernier Proposes Fines for Telecom Market Abuse ** Rogers Considers National Rollout of Phone, Internet ** MTS Seeks 50-Cent Payphone Charge ** CRTC Reintroduces Internal Decision Standards ** Telus Expands EVDO Roaming ** Northwestel Rate Increases Approved ** Cogeco Founder Leaves Board ** SR Telecom Takes $29M Hit, Gets New Backing ** Wi-LAN Wins Nokia Licence Deal ** Nortel Changes Its Auditor ** Nortel Completes Sale of UMTS Unit ** Call-Back LD Comes to Cellular ** New Handsets Announce Holiday Season ** Globalstar Shrinks the Satellite Phone ** Nordiq Board Approve Aliant Buyout ** Telecom Hall of Fame Gala on Rogers TV

STUDY FINDS NO CELLPHONE CANCER LINK: A major study has found that cellphone users are no more likely to develop cancer than the population at large. A report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute documents the largest study on the subject ever conducted: it examined the health records of 420,000 people in Denmark who were cellphone users for an average of 8.5 years and for over 20 years in some cases. It found no increased incidence of tumours among mobile users. (See Telecom Update #270, 352, 495, 514)

BERNIER PROPOSES FINES FOR TELECOM MARKET ABUSE: Industry Minister Maxime Bernier has tabled amendments to the Competition Act that would allow the Competition Tribunal to levy fines of up to $15 million against telecommunications service providers that abuse their dominant position.

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** The Martin government proposed to give both the Competition Tribunal and the CRTC the power to impose similar fines, but the bills died when Parliament was dissolved in November 2005.

** Last month, the Competition Bureau outlined its proposed approach to dealing with complaints of anti-competitive behaviour in telecom markets, and invited comments by December 29. (see Telecom Update #554).

ROGERS CONSIDERS NATIONAL ROLLOUT OF PHONE, INTERNET: Speaking at a UBS-sponsored conference in New York this week, Ted Rogers said that his company is "developing technology to offer high-speed Internet and phone across the country." He may have been referring to an enhanced version of the Inukshuk network, the wireless Internet venture that Rogers and Bell own jointly.

** Rogers, who was due to retire at the end of 2008, recently signed a new contract that extends his term in office until either he or the company terminates the contract on six months' notice.

MTS SEEKS 50-CENT PAYPHONE CHARGE: MTS Allstream has asked the CRTC to approve an increase in payphone charges to 50 cents, to be effective in April 2007.

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CRTC REINTRODUCES INTERNAL DECISION STANDARDS: The CRTC has set internal deadlines for issuing decisions on a variety of telecommunications applications. The Commission will begin measuring its internal service standards in April 2007, and will report annually beginning in 2008.

** The Commission previously set performance standards for itself in 2002, but failed to meet them and subsequently stopped reporting results. (See Telecom Update #346).

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TELUS EXPANDS EVDO ROAMING: Telus says that its customers can now use their high-speed (EVDO) mobile phones in more than 230 U.S. cities. Telus charges for roaming in the U.S. are 95 cents/minute for airtime, and an additional 50 cents/minute for long distance calls within Canada and the U.S.

** A full list of U.S. cities where Telus EVDO roaming is available is posted at
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NORTHWESTEL RATE INCREASES APPROVED: The CRTC has approved Northwestel interim rate increases of $2/month for residential lines and $5/month for business lines, effective January 1, 2007.

** All of Northwestel's tariffs are made interim, to allow any price changes in the Commission's final ruling on the telco's regulatory framework, due in 2007, to be made retroactive to January 1. (See Telecom Update #513)

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COGECO FOUNDER LEAVES BOARD: Louis Audet, who founded Cogeco in 1956 and led it until 1993, is resigning from the Board of Cogeco Cable and Cogeco Inc. Audet, 88, owns 72% of Cogeco Inc. and remains its Chairman Emeritus.

SR TELECOM TAKES $29M HIT, GETS NEW BACKING: SR Telecom has raised $20 million in new financing and taken a $29 million restructuring charge. (See Telecom Update #555) SR says it has been burdened by restructuring efforts that were "disruptive to operations" and has responded by focusing all efforts on WiMAX products.

** SR reports a 35% decline in third quarter revenue, compared to a year ago, due to "outsourcing issues."

WI-LAN WINS NOKIA LICENCE DEAL: Nokia has agreed to pay Ottawa-based Wi-LAN Inc. $15 million, and to transfer 93 patents worth $34 million to Wi-LAN, in exchange for a licence to use Wi-LAN's ADSL patents.

** Earlier this year, Wi-LAN stopped making equipment in order to concentrate on licensing its technology. It is offering reduced fees to companies that sign licences before April 12, 2007. (See Telecom Update #515)

NORTEL CHANGES ITS AUDITOR: Deloitte & Touche, which has been Nortel's auditor since 1914, has been replaced by KPMG. (See Telecom Update #472)

NORTEL COMPLETES SALE OF UMTS UNIT: Nortel Networks this week concluded a definitive agreement to sell its UMTS mobile products division to Alcatel-Lucent for US$320 million in cash -- "less significant deductions and transaction-related costs." About 1,700 Nortel employees will move to Alcatel-Lucent by year-end. (See Telecom Update #544)

CALL-BACK LD COMES TO CELLULAR: Call-back long distance, which was used to cut overseas LD charges in the 1980s, has been reborn as an option for cost-conscious cellular users. Customers of Toronto-based Mobilmiser dial a Toronto number and get a busy signal -- Mobilmiser calls them back and connects them to long distance dialtone. The company says that Canada and U.S. LD calls are 4.9 cents/minute.

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NEW HANDSETS ANNOUNCE HOLIDAY SEASON: Cellcos are preparing for Santa's midnight ride by introducing a new crop of wireless gadgets:

** Bell Canada's LG Fusic phone offers an MP3 player and Canada's first in-phone FM transmitter.

** MTS Motorola Q smartphone has an MP3 player, a camera, Windows Mobile software, and an "ultra-thin design."

** Telus's Nokia 6165i push-to-talk phone includes "advanced mobile IP" and Bluetooth technology, and a "vibrantly coloured matte metallic finish."

GLOBALSTAR SHRINKS THE SATELLITE PHONE: Globalstar's 7.1-ounce satellite handset, the Qualcomm GSP-1700, is half the size and weight of its previous models.

NORDIQ BOARD APPROVE ALIANT BUYOUT: The directors of Bell Nordiq Group have decided to recommend approval of Bell Aliant's bid to buy the 37% of Nordiq that it does not already own. (See Telecom Update #556)

TELECOM HALL OF FAME GALA ON ROGERS TV: A film of the 2006 Awards Ceremony for Canada's Telecom Hall of Fame will be broadcast on Rogers cable on Saturday December 9 at 6pm in Owen Sound and York Region, and at 8pm in the rest of Rogers' territory.



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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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