Telnet Network News

Telnet Network News - We'll keep you up to date with what's happening in the industry.

Wind, Eastlink confirm bidding in 700MHz auction

Canadian cableco Eastlink and second-tier mobile operator Wind Mobile confirmed yesterday that they will bid in January’s 700MHz 4G mobile licence auction, alongside ‘dead cert’ entrants Rogers, Telus, Bell, Videotron, SaskTel and MTS. In an interview with Cartt.ca, Eastlink’s CEO Lee Bragg confirmed that the cableco – which currently offers mobile services in its heartland Atlantic region but also holds 3G/4G frequencies in Alberta and Ontario – will bid for 700MHz licences in its existing cabl...
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Bell launches court case against roaming/infrastructure sharing obligations

Bell Canada Enterprises’ (BCE’s) cellular unit Bell Mobility has launched a legal petition in the Federal Court (‘Bell Mobility Inc vs the Attorney General of Canada, file number T-1474-13’) arguing that the government does not have the right to force it to share its mobile infrastructure and seeking a judicial review of recent regulatory changes to roaming and network sharing obligations, Reuters reports. Bell’s action is specifically aimed at blocking regulatory measures which oblige it and Ca...
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Thanks for sharing: Rogers claims first ‘complete’ multi-device mobile packages

Rogers Communications has announced the launch of ‘Share Everything’ packages, which it claims to be Canada’s first ‘complete’ range of wireless plans that allow individuals, families, friends or small businesses to share wireless data, internet, unlimited nationwide talk and text, call display and voicemail across any ten wireless devices; supporting twice as many devices when compared to current offers from other Canadian carriers. Building on Rogers’ data sharing plans that have been availabl...
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Mobilicity still for sale, not ‘transferring users to Wind’

Mobilicity has denied a rumour that it is planning to transfer its customers for next-to-no financial compensation to rival Wind Mobile and shut down operations by the end of the month, and says it remains up for sale. ‘The report that we are transferring our subscriber base to Wind is not true,’ said Mobilicity’s chief restructuring officer Bill Aziz in a statement reported by The Canadian Press yesterday, while Wind’s CEO Anthony Lacavera was quoted as saying that he remains interested in buyi...
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Mobilicity ‘close to transferring users to Wind Mobile’

Canadian newspaper The National Post writes that financially-crippled cellco Mobilicity is nearing a deal to transfer its approximately 200,000-strong user base to fellow second-tier Canadian operator Wind Mobile. According to two industry sources cited by the paper, loss-making Mobilicity is negotiating a deal with Wind under which the latter would acquire Mobilicity’s customers for a negligible price, while Mobilicity’s debtholders would retain its assets including mobile spectrum licences and...
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Verizon not entering Canada, confirms CEO

The CEO of Verizon Communications yesterday announced that the US giant is not planning to enter Canada’s wireless market, ending months of speculation and concerns from Canadian operators. The news followed Verizon’s agreement to buy Vodafone Group’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless for USD130 billion to take full control of its US cellular division. Bloomberg quoted Lowell McAdam as saying in a telephone interview: ‘Verizon is not going to Canada … It has nothing to do with the Vodafone deal, it ...
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Telus files case against spectrum bid rules; Verizon’s Vodafone talks could push Canadian entry off the agenda

Canadian quadruple-play telco Telus filed an application with the Federal Court on 20 August challenging the power of the country’s Industry Minister to set criteria dictating which companies can bid for wireless frequency licences, reports the Financial Post. The action follows a case Telus launched the previous month opposing the minister’s power to make unilateral changes to spectrum licence transfer policy. Ted Woodhead, Telus’ senior vice-president of government and regulatory affairs, said...
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Telus expands into Far North

Canadian full-service telecoms group Telus has announced the expansion of its services into Canada’s Far North regions for the first time. Customers in the Northwest Territories and Yukon will be able to sign up for Telus services starting 6 September, while further expansion will be announced in due course. Petron Communications, a long-time Telus authorized dealer serving rural communities in northern British Columbia, will open stores in Yellowknife and Whitehorse later in 2013. Telus’s CEO D...
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Bell’s TV everywhere app expands mobile TV offering

Bell Canada has launched a Bell TV mobile application allowing customers to watch channels which they subscribe to in their Bell home programming package on tablets or smartphones, at no extra charge, reports Rapid TV News. The ‘TV everywhere’ app expands the channel line-up of the existing Bell Mobile TV service, enabling Bell Mobility customers to watch more than 100 live and on-demand channels over the operator’s mobile broadband network or Wi-Fi, with current Bell Mobile TV subscribers being...
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Verizon may not move for Canadian cellcos; Wind might bid for Mobilicity

Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail reported yesterday that US giant Verizon was putting off its previously publicised potential acquisitions of second-tier Canadian cellcos Wind Mobile and Mobilicity while contemplating taking part in Ottawa’s January 2014 700MHz 4G wireless spectrum licence auction. The deadline for initial bids is 17 September 2013, and if Verizon does decide to participate, rules prevent it from continuing negotiations on acquisition deals until after the auction has fin...
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Verizon delays acquisitions of Canadian wireless firms: report

Verizon Communications Inc has decided to put off the acquisition of two small Canadian wireless companies until after a government auction of wireless licenses in January, a Canadian newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. The U.S. telecommunications firm is instead focusing on whether to take part in a key Canadian spectrum auction, which has a September 17 deadline for applications, the Globe and Mail said. Potential bidders in the auction are barred from negotiating any deals...
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Rogers first Canadian carrier to bring LTE roaming to Europe with Switzerland launch

Rogers and Swisscom service launch means Rogers customers can enjoy blazing fast LTE speeds on their next Swiss adventure Rogers Communications, Canada's leading diversified communications and media company, today announced a new agreement with Switzerland telecommunications company Swisscom AG to deliver bilateral LTE roaming to customers of both mobile service providers. As of July 31st, Rogers and Swisscomm customers travelling with a 2600 MHz device can experience some of the world's fastest...
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BlackBerry assets ripe for picking?

Pioneering Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry is considering a range of options for its future which include an outright sale of the company or selling off assets individually, Reuters reports. Prem Watsa, the head of BlackBerry’s largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings, announced yesterday that he is leaving the board to avoid any potential conflicts of interest as the struggling firm determines its next move, while Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail wrote that Fairfax was ...
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Telus, BCE revenues up 6.1%, 1.4%

In the second quarter of 2013, rival Canadian telecoms groups Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) and Telus Corp posted respective revenues (including their fixed, mobile, broadband and pay-TV operations) of CAD5.00 billion (USD4.81 billion), up by 1.4% year-on-year, and CAD2.83 billion (up 6.1%). Telus reported a 3% y-o-y improvement in EBITDA to CAD1.0 billion in the three months to the end of June 2013 whereas BCE (which includes Bell Canada and Bell Aliant) recorded a 1.5% EBITDA rise to CAD1.74 m...
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Rogers backing rival bids to thwart Verizon; incumbents lobby government on spectrum policy

Rogers Communications is backing private equity takeover bids for two smaller Canadian cellcos in an attempt to block US giant Verizon’s entry into the country, according to sources familiar with the matter quoted by Reuters. The sources said that Rogers aims to assist Toronto-based Birch Hill Equity Partners in funding takeover bids for Wind Mobile and Mobilicity, both of which Verizon is reportedly in ownership negotiations with. Current Canadian federal policy prevents Rogers or the other two...
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SaskTel doubling DSL speeds in 220 communities

Fixed internet speeds will be doubled in 220 DSL-served rural communities across the Canadian province of Saskatchewan by the end of 2014, provincial operator SaskTel announced on Tuesday. The rural communities under the scheme, representing over half of 416 communities (including First Nations) served by SaskTel’s DSL network, will have the new option of upgrading to 10Mbps packages, the Leader Post reports. Other initiatives in SaskTel’s rural strategy include CAD10.7 million (USD10.4 million)...
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Fed-up Telus takes government to court over spectrum transfer rules

Canada’s Telus has filed a Federal Court case against the government opposing the recent policy decisions on restricting wireless spectrum licence transfers, in which the operator says it is seeking clarity on the legality of last month’s rulings, which effectively blocked Telus’ attempted takeover of smaller cellco Mobilicity, Reuters reports. The spectrum transfer policy aims to block any transactions which result in ‘undue spectrum concentration’, but Telus claims that it could result in fore...
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Bell Aliant expanding FTTH to NorthernTel footprint

Bell Aliant has announced the expansion of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to additional locations in northern Ontario, having previously covered only one market in the province, Sudbury (the largest settlement in the telco’s Ontario telecoms service footprint) alongside its core Atlantic Canada provinces. Yesterday, the telco announced it is investing CAD7 million (USD6.8 million) to expand its ‘FibreOP’ FTTH service to Timmins, the largest market in group subsidiary NorthernTel’s northern...
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Rogers offers nationwide fixed line replacement service

Rogers Communications has launched a home and small business phone solution that operates on its national cellular network. The Rogers Wireless Home Phone service for consumers and the Rogers Wireless Business Phone is available in regions across Canada where Rogers’ residential (cable network-based) and business landline (cable and some PSTN) services are not available. Pitching the new wireless telephone service as a low-budget option to replace fixed line services provided by other operators ...
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FCC, Industry Canada Agree on Public-Safety Spectrum

The FCC and Industry Canada agreed on 10 interim spectrum-sharing arrangements covering operations in their common border area. The arrangement will aid mobile broadband and improve public-safety communications along the U.S.-Canada border by facilitating the efficient sharing of spectrum and avoiding potential interference.  "I am pleased to conclude these important arrangements with Canada, as they are critical to preventing interference to commercial publc safety licenses in the border r...
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