Incumbent telco Telus Corp. and the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) in July unveiled a plan to get them out of bargaining-table deadlock. The carrier and the TWU said they would enter a 60-day conciliation period starting Nov. 14, during which each side would present issues to be resolved. Telus and the union also agreed to a 30-day communication blackout, as well as a 21-day “cooling off” period if talks break down and the Union decides to strike. Telus and the TWU have been negotiating a collective agreement for nearly two years.

Aliant to boost service

Atlantic Canada’s main wireless service provider Aliant Mobility said in June that it plans to spend $35 million by year’s end to expand digital service. The firm said it has 500,000 subscribers across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and P.E.I. Aliant Mobility expects to expand digital service to parts of Prince County, P.E.I., Alma, Grand Manan and St. Antoine, New Brunswick, as well as Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador City and Placentia, Nfld., among other places. View the entire list at See the “news” section.

GSM boasts growth

3G Americas, a group promoting wireless carriers that use GSM technology, says the number of GSM subscribers in North America grew 47 per cent between 2002 and 2003. The group said 100 GSM carriers operate across the Americas, including 42 former TDMA operators and one CDMA operator that laid GSM functionality over existing networks. The group said it expects GSM to dominate the wireless landscape as 3G networks appear; 3G GSM systems promise data rates near 100Kbps. GSM operators and rival CDMA operators are vying for control of the wireless sector.