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IN THIS ISSUE:** 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.
** 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.
** 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)
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.
** 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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