Telecommunications Briefs

Coaxial calls

The number of worldwide cable telephony subscribers will have hit 10 million by the end of 2003, according to In-Stat/MDR. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based research firm also said there will be more than 19 million cable telephony subscribers by 2007. The firm said subscribers are attracted to cable telephony because of poor experiences with traditional phone service providers, and because of the “triple play” of voice, Internet and digital video that cable providers can offer. However, In-Stat also said cable telephony providers face a challenge convincing businesses that the service is viable for them.

Flagging competition

“Competitors have made little progress” in their attempts to steal local phone business away from the incumbents, according to the CRTC’s synopsis of last year’s communications market. The Commission said firms like Bell Canada held over 95 per cent of revenue available in this shrinking space in 2002. The CRTC said local wireline revenues decreased 1.7 per cent and the number of lines decreased 2.4 per cent. Long distance revenues decreased 6.5 per cent. Data and private line revenues increased 1.6 per cent. Internet revenues increased 27 per cent and mobile revenues increased 11 per cent.

Double duty

Roadpost Inc. is adding a dual-mode cellular/satellite phone to its portfolio. The firm said the Thuraya handset works in 120 countries, or nearly one-third of the world, providing voice, video, data, fax and short messaging capabilities. The Thuraya’s data kit comes with GPS software. Thuraya is a consortium of telecom companies that has launched two Boeing satellites in the past three years, and plans to launch another one in the near future. The Thuraya phone is priced at $1,095. Roadpost said batteries, chargers, data cables and data kits are sold separately.