Small Carriers Complain about “Unilateral” Provisions in Wholesale Roaming Contracts

by Istvan Fekete on July 29, 2015

Eastlink Wireless, Wind Mobile, and Videotron have filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), saying that the incumbent carriers are trying to set unilateral terms and conditions for wholesale roaming agreements, reports the Globe and Mail.

The complaint comes after a landmark ruling issued by the regulator two months ago that capped the wholesale roaming rate Rogers, Bell, and Telus charge smaller rivals, the aim of which was to boost competition in the Canadian mobile landscape.

The regulator plans to set the exact rates after a follow-up process scheduled for this fall to assess the carrier’s actual cost, and then add a markup.
While the wireless industry awaits the final ruling, the CRTC has set a maximum rate of no more than the highest amount incumbent players were charging for text, data, and voice services under government caps introduced last year.
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Goodbye IPv4, Hello IPv6: Why Embracing Next Gen Internet Protocols is Essential to Help Your Business Evolve

by Matt Klassen on July 29, 2015

It may very well be one of the slowest migrations in history—and no, we’re talking about the Wildebeests of Africa—the transition from IPv4 (Internet protocol version 4, the underlying system that allows us to connect devices to the Web) to IPv6 (the next evolution of that same online identification and location system).

For years the Internet world has known that our old IP system (version 4) would eventually run out of available IP addresses (with some 4 billion IPs available), and it looks like doomsday has finally arrived. But while IPv6 stands waiting in the wings (and it has been waiting for many years now), the mast majority of Internet users—including much of the enterprise sector—are either unaware, uninterested, or unequipped to make the transition, and while it may not seem like a big deal to continue using the old IPv4 system, there are good reasons to consider preparing your business for the inevitable migration to IPv6.

As Stephane Bourque, President and CEO of Incognito Software Systems, explains, “Prepping your company’s backbone for IPv6 is essential to provide real data security, improve business to business communication, or expand into new markets.” The Internet is changing, and the more adaptable businesses are, the more uniquely positioned they’ll be to capitalize on the benefits of living in an IPv6 world.

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Facebook Optimistic About the Future of Internet.org

by Matt Klassen on July 28, 2015

Facebook’s controversial Internet.org project began one year ago in Zambia and at first blush it seems to be a success, bringing Internet access to millions of people heretofore unconnected and allowing mobile operators to expand their services to those who previously thought it was beyond the affordability barrier. Now Internet.org has roughly 12 telecom partners in 17 countries and the social network hopes that this is only the beginning.

In fact, on the anniversary of its ambitious free Internet project, Facebook is optimistic that it’s Internet gateway still has plenty of room to grow, plenty of people to dupe, and plenty of money to be made, using facts and figures from year one to entice other operators into adopting the service.

But it’s here that I’m actually cautiously optimistic, because according to Facebook itself, more than half of the people who use Facebook’s Internet.org service as an online gateway are paying for Internet connectivity within a month, which means that more and more people are breaking free of Facebook’s online enslavement and venturing out in the online world.

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Wind Mobile Appoints Glen Campbell as New Chief Commercial Officer

by Istvan Fekete on July 28, 2015

Wind Mobile, Canada’s fourth-biggest wireless player, has a new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), the company announced yesterday. Glen Campbell joins Wind Mobile from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was Head of Canada Equity Research and Global Coordinator for Telecom Services Research. He has covered Canadian telecom services stocks for the past 19 years.

Campbell will be heading Wind’s sales and distribution, marketing, brand and communication, and customer care operations, reporting directly to the carrier’s CEO, Alek Krstajic.

“We are delighted to welcome Glen as our new CCO. His strong telecom and investment industry understanding will further strengthen WIND as the company solidifies its place in the Canadian wireless landscape,” said Alek Krstajic, Chief Executive Officer WIND Mobile.

“I am really pleased to be joining WIND Mobile at this exciting stage in its development” said Campbell. “WIND has carved out an important position within the Canadian wireless marketplace providing affordable, unlimited wireless service to consumers.”
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BlackBerry to Cut New Phone Models to 1–2 Per Year

by Istvan Fekete on July 27, 2015

BlackBerry’s CEO says the company will reduce the number of phones it releases per year. Until now, we’ve seen four new BlackBerry phones every year, but Jack Chen says he has plans to release only one or two high-end devices to save costs and focus more on enterprise software services.

“We make four phones a year… We are not going to do that anymore,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen told Fox Business. “We are going to at least cut it down to a lot less number, maybe two, maybe one… and [shift] those resources [to] the security and software side.”

Also, in an interesting comment to Bloomberg, Chen says Blackberry will no longer target the low end of the smartphone market, as it is already overcrowded by a wide range of Chinese and Indian smartphone vendors. “It’ll be a high-end phone that you can walk into AT&T and get it, as a professional,” Chen told the publication. “The low-end phone is not BlackBerry’s sweet spot.”
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Complex Data Pricing Threatens to Alienate Consumers

by Matt Klassen on July 27, 2015

Hounded by the threat of irrelevance wireless carriers have, for the most part, initiated an industry wide evolution, transitioning away from their traditional role as network service providers towards becoming more profitable content providers. But by expanding their products and services the wireless industry has been hit with an unforeseen issue, the increasing complexity of data pricing plans and billing, a problem that has left many consumers reeling as they try to figure out what company can best meet their digital needs.

It’s what author Barry Schwartz dubbed “The Paradox of Choice” in his 2004 book, the anxiety that is caused when service providers offer too many options for consumers to choose between, and it’s a problem we are seeing across the wireless industry today. While carriers think that offering a myriad of options to meet the unique needs for as many consumers as possible, choice can paradoxically lead to consumer apprehension and outright avoidance of the service altogether.

Not only that, but the increasing complexity of data pricing plans is likely only going to worsen as we go forward, particularly in light of the looming IoT explosion. Thinks it’s complicated when you have to connect a handful of devices, get television service, and a home phone? Imagine just how complicated things will become when you have dozens of devices that need a data connection as part of your connected everything existence, and just how many advanced accounting degrees you’ll need to figure out how much you’ll have to pay.

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Are Wearables the Key to the Mobile Payment Revolution?

by Matt KlassenJuly 24, 2015

While we’ve been waiting for several years for the arrival of the promised mobile payment revolution, for several months now wearables—particularly smart watches—have been increasingly touted as the platform that will finally change the way we make financial transactions. It should come as no surprise then that industry experts are now predicting that not only [...]

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5G is About More than Speed

by Jeff WienerJuly 24, 2015

As the hype surrounding next generation 5G wireless technology continues to increase I’ve noticed that the vast majority of the discussions surrounding this next generation wireless technology tend to be about speed, as most of us simply want to know how much faster our videos will be processed. But it’s important to know that such [...]

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AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile 3G/4G Wireless Network Performance Compared

by Istvan FeketeJuly 23, 2015

Wireless network speeds have received a significant amount of attention not just in the US and Canada, but also globally. One of the keyphrases frequently used in press releases and carrier announcements with regards to LTE has been “faster download speeds” compared to 3G networks. However, another key factor for a better customer experience is [...]

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Blackberry Acquires Crisis Communications Firm AtHoc

by Matt KlassenJuly 23, 2015

As difficult as things have been for Blackberry, the company has made one thing clear: it’s going to do everything it can, use every resource it has, and dedicate every ounce of energy it can muster into recreating the firm into a mobile software and data management solutions provider. To that end, Blackberry announced on [...]

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