#561, January 5, 2006
Our New Look
Quake Highlights Internet Vulnerabilities
RIM Adds 875,000 Blackberry Users
BlackBerry to Offer Push-to-Talk
Bermuda Seeks Bids for Submarine Cable
Videotron Tests 100 Mbps Broadband
Ottawa Invests in Telecom Projects
U.S. Company Buys Saskatchewan Equipment Maker
MTS Sells Winnipeg Buildings
DBRS Raises Rogers Rating
AT&T Completes Bellsouth Purchase
Cisco Buying Web Security Firm
OUR NEW LOOK: Beginning with this issue, the e-mail edition of Telecom
Update will be published in HTML instead of plain text. We will
fine-tune the design over the next few weeks, to make Canada's
most-widely-read telecom publication even more readable and usable. We
welcome your comments and suggestions: please email them to
QUAKE HIGHLIGHTS INTERNET VULNERABILITIES: On December 26, a magnitude
7.1 earthquake off Taiwan ruptured six undersea telecom cables,
interrupting international telecom services across much of East Asia.
Voice services from Taiwan were down by 60%-90%. Internet services
were affected as far away as Sri Lanka.
Partial service has been restored, using satellite links and fibre
overcapacity built during the dot-com boom, but Internet service is
still impaired. Repairs will not be completed until later this month.
Even some supposedly landline links were affected. For example Hong
Kong's connection to China's Wikipedia went down because it passes
through a South Korean server.
Some ISPs have come under fire for offering to sell businesses extra
bandwidth to compensate for their reduced service.
Chinese state media reports that more than 9,000 Chinese domain names
vanished from Internet registries, many of them then 'snatched by
RIM ADDS 875,000 BLACKBERRY USERS: Research In Motion says it added
875,000 Blackberry subscribers in the three months ended December 2,
bringing the total to about 7 million. Revenue for the quarter was up
49% from a year ago to US$835.1 million, and profit was $176 million, up
from $120 million in the same period a year earlier.
BLACKBERRY TO OFFER PUSH-TO-TALK: California-based Kodiak Networks says
it has signed a global licensing agreement allowing Research In Motion
to add Push-To-Talk capability on the BlackBerry Pearl and other RIM
handsets. U.S. carrier Cingular Wireless will be the first wireless
operator to offer the feature.
BERMUDA SEEKS BIDS FOR SUBMARINE CABLE: The Bermuda Ministry of
Telecommunications and E-Commerce is seeking proposals to install and
manage a new submarine cable linking Bermuda to the mainland. The
Ministry hopes to issue a formal invitation to tender by January 31, and
to choose a supplier by July.
VIDEOTRON TESTS 100 Mbps BROADBAND: Videotron says it has begun beta
tests of new technology that would allow it to offer Internet access at
up to 100 Mbps throughout its serving area. About 150 trial modems will
be installed for consumer and business users this month, and testing
will continue over a three- to four-month period.
OTTAWA INVESTS IN TELECOM PROJECTS: In late December, Industry Canada
announced repayable R&D investments, through Technology Partnerships
Canada, in two wireless communications projects.
$1.8 million to Consilient Technologies Corporation of St. John's,
Newfoundland, part of a $5.5 million software development project to
increase data and messaging functions for mobile phones and devices.
$9.3 million to ViXS Systems of Toronto, part of a $27.7 million project
to capture, store, and wirelessly distribute high-definition content to
electronic and communications devices in the home.
U.S. COMPANY BUYS SASKATCHEWAN EQUIPMENT MAKER: Regina-based Noran Tel,
a privately owned maker of power distribution, network transmission, and
remote monitoring equipment, has been acquired by Illinois-based Westell
Technologies for an undisclosed amount. Westell, which makes broadband
access products, says Noran Tel will remain in Regina, operating as a
MTS SELLS WINNIPEG BUILDINGS: MTS Allstream has sold two office
buildings in Winnipeg, including its head office, to Crown Realty for
$51.1 million, and signed a 15-year lease on the space it occupies in
those buildings. Proceeds of the sale will be used to buy back common
DBRS RAISES ROGERS RATING: Dominion Bond Rating Service has upgraded
the financial ratings for three Rogers Companies. Rogers
Communications is now rated BB, while Rogers Cable and Rogers Wireless
are both BB (high).
AT&T COMPLETES BELLSOUTH PURCHASE: Following approval by the Federal
Communications Commission in late December, AT&T Inc. has completed
its US$85 billion purchase of Bell South Corp (see Telecom Update
#550) in the largest U.S. telecom merger ever. The new AT&T combines
six formerly separate telecom giants: AT&T, Bell South, Southwestern
Bell, Pacific Telesis, Ameritech, and Cingular Wireless.
CISCO BUYING WEB SECURITY FIRM: Cisco has acquired IronPort Systems,
an email filtering and Web security firm based in San Bruno,
California, for US$830 million in cash and stock. The deal is expected
to close by the end of April.
Copyright 2007, Angus Telecommunications.