A government report last month said Canada should remove foreign ownership restrictions on carriers. The report, which follows an investigation of the rules, says the current regulations are “too restrictive” at 30 per cent for holding companies and 20 per cent for operating carriers. Fewer barriers to foreign involvement could help bolster Canadian telcos, according to some, pointing out that carriers must drink from a small pool of capital today. Others say fewer restrictions pave the way for U.S. control of Canadian assets. The report is online at www.parl.gc.ca.
Telus says turnkeys can fly
Telus Corp. in April unveiled its “turnkey and managed” wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions for Canadian businesses. Based on 802.11b (11Mbps), the carrier’s WLAN portfolio includes installation and network design, monitoring, security scrutiny and a completely outsourced option, Telus said. The firm is targeting companies seeking private, secure WLANs, semi-private WLANs with guest access, and public WLANs that provide public access. Partners include Cisco, Avaya and Netscreen. Telus is following in Bell Canada’s footsteps. Bell last year unveiled similar services. Both firms have invested in public WLAN deployments as well.
IP makes its mark
The Canadian market for IP telephony is poised to reach $450 million by 2006, according to a Frost & Sullivan study. Completed by the company’s Canadian arm, the report says the market for IP phones, IP-PBXs and other equipment designed to leverage the enterprise LAN for voice will experience compound annual growth of 40 per cent to 2006. However, the study notes that Canadian uptake “has not reached the levels suggested by some bullish predictions made 12 to 24 months ago,” listing high prices and reliability concerns as hindrances.