News briefs May 9, 2013

Cisco to fund research cloud at Ontario university, MTS releases quarterly financials and

Cisco Systems Inc. is putting research funds into McMaster University, some of which will go to creating a cloud computing infrastructure at the Hamilton, Ont., institution.

Cisco is putting in a total of $2.1 million, including $1.6 million over eight years to create a professorship in integrated health biosystems, and $500,000 over five years to establish a research chain in bioinformatics.

McMaster has one of the largest medical schools in the province.

According to a university spokesperson, the professor will help design the cloud infrastructure, which will process the huge amount of data generated by the university’s biomedical research and clinical trials.

The person holding the research chair will actually be using the infrastructure on a program to integrate biological and clinical datasets.

Current medical research at the university store data in separate databases, the parties said in a news release, accessed primarily by the original research team and seldom shared across different studies.

By creating one cloud-based infrastructure to both house research data and provide high performance analysis, many McMaster faculties will have easy access to the resources. The university hopes it will help researchers collaborate better.

This “research cloud” could serve multiple institutions and research facilities, Cisco and McMaster said.

Revenue down at MTS, up at Telus and Bell

Manitoba Telecom Services has reported its fourth consecutive quarter of declining revenue, pulling in $406 million for the three months ending March 31.

The Q1 results, issued Wednesday, represents a 6.5 per cent decline over the previous quarter. The company, better known as MTS Allstream, attributed the drop to a decline in wireless revenue over its older CMDA network and legacy network business services, as well as $14.1 million in planned reductions at the Allstream division. Allstream is the business services division outside Manitoba.

But it also includes a drop in $4.8 million in wireless revenue because competing carriers Bell Mobility and Telus Corp. are shifting from MTS’s older network to their own – and faster – HSPA networks.

On the other hand, earnings before interest, taxes and other deductions (EBITDA) was $148.6 million for the quarter, an increase over the previous two quarters.

The Q1 results “show that we continue to make progress on our strategy, with a 32 per cent increase in free cash flow and annualized cost savings of $17.0 million,” CEO Pierre Blouin said in a statement. 

Telus Corp. said its first quarter revenue increased by nearly five per cent to $2.76 billion for the same period a year ago, while earnings before interests and deductions (EBITDA) were up by more than five per cent to just over $1 billion.

The Vancouver-based telecom company said that for the three months ending March 31 its profit was $362 million on revenue of $2.7 billion.

It recorded 59,000 new postpaid wireless customers, 34,000 new IPTV customers and 16,000 new high speed internet subscribers.

Meanwhile BCE Inc., which owns Bell Canada and the CTV television network, said it chalked up quarterly profit of $566 million on revenue of $4.9 billion.

Bell revenue alone was up 0.3 per cent to $4.3 billion, helped by strong wireless growth. Wireless revenues increased 6.3 per cent over the same period a year ago to $1.3 billion. Wireless data revenue jumped 23.9 per cent.

The net number of postpaid wireless customers increased by 59,497 during he quarter. Prepaid wireless net customer losses decreased due to fewer customer deactivations. But, the company added, ongoing net losses in prepaid activations reflect “aggressive acquisition offers from competitors.” Like other major carriers, Bell said it is focusing on gaining postpaid smart phone subscribers.

Bell also said it continues to stem the decline in traditional wireline revenue from consumers defecting to cellular or VoIP providers, thanks in part to increasing sales of its fibre-based Fibe TV and Fibe Internet services.

Intrinsyc Software revenue drops

Vancouver’s Intrinsyc Software Inc., which makes solutions for creating embedded and wireless products including smart phones and machine-to-machine equipment, said Wednesday it suffered a net first quarter loss of just over $725,000 on revenue of $1.2 million.

That’s a drop of 23 per cent in revenue over the previous quarter.

“This was a challenging quarter as we started the year slowly due to the unexpected non-renewal of an agreement with our largest customer in 2012,” CEO Tracy Rees said in a statement.

“We worked hard to offset the loss of this important customer agreement and were successful in closing several new customer engagements in the quarter. Combined with our Machine-to-Machine (“M2M”) and embedded computing initiatives, we expect significant revenue improvement in the second quarter and beyond. We also expect to record significant non-core operational expenses in the second quarter which will impact our financial results.”

The company’s products include the DragonBoard development kit, an Android development platform used to create embedded and handheld devices that use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor, and the Open-Q System on Module for creating embedded devices.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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