FatPort Corp. out of Vancouver is cranking up wireless LAN (WLAN) service at Abbotsford International Airport in Abbotsford, B.C. and Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport in Markham, Ont. In a January statement the company said it’s the first Canadian WLAN service provider to offer 802.11 connectivity in an airport, and pointed out that with its other WLAN hotspots in hotels, cafes and corporate service centres, FatPort provides high-speed wireless access wherever business travellers might roam. For more information, see the firm’s Web site at

Cross border talk

The Canadian Wireless Technology Association (CWTA) in January announced that customers of Bell Mobility, Microcell, Rogers AT&T Wireless, Telus Mobility and other mobile carriers would be able to exchange text messages with contacts in the United States. South of the border, participating carriers include AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Nextel Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The CWTA said billing remains in the hands of individual carriers. The president of the U.S.-based Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) said international agreements might follow.

Canucks oppose outsiders

Decima Research Inc. in January said many Canadians are opposed to the notion of increased foreign ownership of media and telecommunications companies. The firm said 45 per cent of survey respondents were “strongly opposed” to increased foreign ownership, up from 40 per cent in 2001. Decima’s study came just as the federal government began an investigation into foreign ownership rules, which today say outside investors can own no more than 30 per cent of a Canadian telco. Some argue that greater foreign investment could buoy the flagging telecom

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