TheTelecomBlog.com’s Top 6 Posts for August 2013

by Jeff Wiener on September 4, 2013

1. Telus Files Lawsuit against the Government Over Wireless Policy — Again

It would seem Telus simply enjoys its own presence in the courtroom and the attention it gets when calling the government a naughty boy, as following its initial appeal to the legal system a month ago over Canada’s wireless policy, the telecom giant has now filed an application with the Federal Court challenging the Industry Minister’s power set criteria for who can bid on blocks of spectrum during the forthcoming wireless spectrum auction.

While the first filing was questionable, obviously a marketing move and part of the Big Three’s propaganda campaign against Ottawa’s wireless policy, this time the action is a direct challenge to the policy the incumbents say would give foreign players such as Verizon a huge advantage over them.

2. Can Spinning Off BBM Save Blackberry?

How do you solve a problem like Blackberry? It’s clearly a complex conundrum, as every move the Waterlootech company has made over the past few years has unfortunately wrought more problems…and very few solutions. Just how bad are things at Blackberry? Well, as we heard earlier this week, the company is considering dividing its assets, spinning off its popular BBM messaging service into its own subsidiary company.

The new subsidiary firm, tentatively called BBM Inc, would operate independently of the rest of Blackberry, allowing the smartphone maker to effectively develop what remains its last truly valuable asset.

3. Watchdog Concerned about Canadian Government Surveillance Tactics

Following the highly publicised intelligence leak by Edward Snowden, where classified documents supplied to the UK media group The Guardian revealed widespread surveillance by the US and UK on the Internet habits of its citizens, concerns are being raised by a watchdog agency within Canada that our government may be employing similar Big Brother tactics, collecting our private information without our knowledge.

This month CSE Canada Watchdog Commissioner Robert Decary went public with his concerns regarding some practices employed by our national surveillance agency, hoping that with some transparencyCanadacan avoid the some backlash theUSis experiencing because of the ongoing PRISM scandal.

4. Microsoft Initiates CEO Succession Plan, New Boss Faces Difficult Road

Microsoft is in the market for a new CEO, as current chief of the tech giant Steve Ballmer suddenly announced his retirement late last week. While surprising to many in the tech world, the news that Microsoft’s has accelerated its leadership transition plan with no successor in sight means that the company recognizes its precarious position in the mobile world, one that requires strong leadership, rejuvenated innovation, and a confident hand on the wheel…none of which Ballmer seemed able to provide.

That said, what Ballmer was able to provide in spades was maintenance of the status quo, and it’ll be interesting to see if investors are comfortable departing from such stability in favour of the risk-taking that will be necessary to compete in this ever-changing technological landscape.

5. Wind Mobile considering buying Mobilicity should Verizon fail to act

Until recently it increasingly looked like US telecom giant Verizon was about to purchase either Wind Mobile or Mobilicity to gain a perch in the Canadian telecom market, but now the backers behind Wind are saying that they themselves may be interested in buying their struggling rival.

Both companies have had a difficult year, as the two continue to lose ground to the three incumbent Canadian telecom giants, losing subscribers and posting continued financial losses. But amidst these struggles Wind Mobile leadership have pondered whether merging themselves with another independent carrier would give them the competitive edge they need on the national front.

6. Digital Relationships to Replace Human Interaction

With social networking and instant messaging having transformed the nature of our human interactions, ostensibly digitizing our relationships, how far away are we from humans developing meaningful bonds with technology itself?

At present such a notion resides on the fringes of anti-social geekdom–evidenced by a Season 5 episode of the hit show Big Bang Theory, where Raj, an astrophysicist with a debilitating fear of speaking to women, hits it off with the artificial intelligence in his new smartphone, who happens to be none other than Siri–but how long until technology itself becomes the soul mate we’ve been looking for?

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