Number 468: February 11, 2005
Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous financial support from:** ALLSTREAM:
IN THIS ISSUE:** European Cellular Penetration Hits 80% ** CRTC VoIP Report Expected in Q2 2005 ** Sprint U.S. to Phase Out iDEN ** Bell Wants Higher Business Rates ** Nortel and RIM Plan VoIP on BlackBerry Platform ** CUPE Signs Contract with Telus Quebec ** AT&T Settles Brand-Name Fight with Vonage ** FCC Outlaws Cellular Spam ** MTS to Provide DSL to CLEC-Served Loops ** CRTC Amends Data Collection Process ** Aliant Launches 10-Megabit Internet ** Cisco Sales Growth Slows ** Cellphone Users Drive Like Old Folks ** Mark Your Calendars Now
EUROPEAN CELLULAR PENETRATION HITS 80%: Eurostat, an agency of the European Union, reports that Europe now has 80 mobile telephone subscriptions for every 100 inhabitants. Cellular penetration by country ranges from 45.5% (Poland) to 120.2% (Luxembourg).
CRTC VoIP REPORT EXPECTED IN Q2 2005: CRTC Chair Charles Dalfen says that the Commission now expects to release its VoIP decision in the second quarter of this year.
SPRINT U.S. TO PHASE OUT iDEN: Last year U.S. wireless carrier Sprint bought Nextel, a competitor whose service uses Motorola's iDEN technology. Yesterday, Sprint executives told financial analysts they will migrate all of the iDEN customers to CDMA by 2008. Motorola says it remains committed to iDEN, but the loss of its largest customer raises concerns about the technology's long-term viability.** In Canada, iDEN is used by Telus Mobility for its Mike service.
BELL WANTS HIGHER BUSINESS RATES: Bell Canada has asked the CRTC to approve an increase of 80 cents/month for individual business lines, including those on one- and three-year contracts, in most of Ontario and Quebec.
NORTEL AND RIM PLAN VoIP ON BLACKBERRY PLATFORM: Nortel Networks and Research In Motion are collaborating to allow users of RIM's BlackBerry 7270 to make and receive IP telephony calls and access multimedia features over a wireless LAN connected to Nortel's MCS5100. They previewed the technology at the VoiceCon conference in Florida this week.
** RIM is also working to link the BlackBerry handhelds to 3Com IP-PBXs.
CUPE SIGNS CONTRACT WITH TELUS QUEBEC: 81% of the 540 first- line managers at Telus Quebec represented by CUPE have voted to accept a new three-year contract. The deal provides for wage increases ranging from 4.55% to 20.54%, coupled with a work-week increase to 37.5 from35 hours, beginning in September.
AT&T SETTLES BRAND-NAME FIGHT WITH VONAGE: AT&T has settled a dispute with Vonage, which claimed that the name of AT&T's VoIP phone service (CallVantage) would confuse consumers and weaken Vonage's trademark. (See Telecom Update #427) AT&T has agreed always to call its service "AT&T CallVantage."
FCC OUTLAWS CELLULAR SPAM: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has posted a list of 189 wireless e-mail domains to which it will be illegal to send unsolicited commercial messages after March 9. No comparable prohibition exists in Canada.** A study released February 9 by the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, found that eight out of ten mobile users worldwide have received spam messages. The study surveyed users in eight countries, including Canada.
MTS TO PROVIDE DSL TO CLEC-SERVED LOOPS: MTS Allstream says it can now, through a manual process, provide retail DSL Internet service to Manitoba residential and business customers whose local telephone service is provided by a CLEC using local loops leased from MTS Allstream.
CRTC AMENDS DATA COLLECTION PROCESS: The CRTC has announced revised procedures for its 2005 data collection and registration process for telecom carriers and service providers. Providers who fail to register could find themselves unable to obtain numbers, interconnection agreements, or advantageous competitor rates on network services.
ALIANT LAUNCHES 10-MEGABIT INTERNET: Aliant has begun Internet service at 10 Mbps and will have 30 Halifax apartment buildings connected by July. The telco is also conducting a trial in Bedford, Nova Scotia of Fibre to the Home at 30 Mbps.
CISCO SALES GROWTH SLOWS: Cisco System's sales for the three months ended January 29 were US$6.1 billion, an increase of 12.3% from a year earlier, but up only 1.5% from the previous quarter. Profits of $1.4 billion were double last year's level and the same as the previous quarter. During the quarter, Cisco sold its four millionth IP phone.
CELLPHONE USERS DRIVE LIKE OLD FOLKS: A study published in the winter edition of the journal Human Factors concludes that young drivers talking on cellphones "drive like elderly people" -- they move and react more slowly, increasing their risk of accidents. "If you put a20-year-old driver behind the wheel with a cellphone, their reaction times are the same as a 70-year-old driver who is not using a cellphone," says University of Utah Psychology professor David Strayer, principal author of the study.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW: Two conferences not to be missed:** ICCM Canada 2005 (formerly Call Centre Canada). Metro Toronto Convention Center. March 21-23, 2005.
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