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IN THIS ISSUE:** Richard French Named CRTC Vice-Chair ** Nortel Shakes Up Executive Suite ** Virgin Mobile Begins Service ** 450 to Get 10-Digit Dialing ** CAIP Organizes to Influence Telecom Review ** Shaw Plans Cellphone Service ** Plaintiffs Against BCE/BCI Lose Appeal ** Nortel Gets Another Extension ** Aliant Expands Broadband Access ** Survey Shows User Support for Wireless Portability
RICHARD FRENCH NAMED CRTC VICE-CHAIR: Richard French has been appointed head of the CRTC's telecom branch, replacing Vice- Chairman David Colville, who retired in December. French, a former Bell Canada executive and Quebec cabinet minister, more recently held posts with Bombardier in Germany and Tata Communications in India.** Rita Cugini has been named a full-time member of the Commission representing Ontario.
NORTEL SHAKES UP EXECUTIVE SUITE: Nortel Networks has named Gary Daichendt, currently a Cisco Systems EVP, as President and COO, effective March 14. Bill Owens, now President and CEO, will become Vice-Chairman and CEO. Newly appointed CFO Peter Currie will assume the additional post of Executive VP. Pascal Debon will become special advisor to Owens.
VIRGIN MOBILE BEGINS SERVICE: Virgin Mobile Canada, a joint venture of Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Bell Mobility, launched its youth-oriented prepaid wireless service in Ontario and Quebec March
- Airtime price: 25 cents/minute for the first five minutes; then 15 cents/minute. Phone prices start at .
** Twelve days earlier, Bell Mobility lowered its prepaid airtime price to 30 cents/minute for the first two minutes and 5 cents/minute thereafter.450 TO GET 10-DIGIT DIALING: Following a public consultation, the CRTC has decided to apply 10-digit local dialing to area code 450, serving the Montreal region, beginning in October 2006. (See Telecom Update #451, 466)
CAIP ORGANIZES TO INFLUENCE TELECOM REVIEW: The Canadian Association of Internet Providers says it will launch TelecomAct Campaign as a vehicle to "advance recommendations and react to proposed changes" with regard to the federal government's review of telecom policy (see Telecom Update #470). Contact Joanne Stanley at 613-236-6550.
SHAW PLANS CELLPHONE SERVICE: According to published reports, CEO Jim Shaw says that Shaw Communications plans to offer wireless service in about six months.
PLAINTIFFS AGAINST BCE/BCI LOSE APPEAL: The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by plaintiffs in a $1-billion suit against BCI and BCE. The suit was previously dismissed by Ontario Court of Appeal. (See Telecom Update #415)
NORTEL GETS ANOTHER EXTENSION: Nortel Networks has received court permission to delay its 2004 annual meeting to the end of June -- the fourth extension of this deadline. Nortel plans to file its 2004 results by the end of April.
ALIANT EXPANDS BROADBAND ACCESS: Aliant says it will invest more than $35 million in 2005 to bring broadband connections to 90,000 more homes in Atlantic Canada.
SURVEY SHOWS USER SUPPORT FOR WIRELESS PORTABILITY: A survey of Canadian wireless users by Solutions Research Group reports 79% support for introduction of Wireless Number Portability; 13% were opposed and only 8% not sure. Support was strongest among business users and youth.
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