Prairie price hike

SaskTel is applying to the CRTC to raise local phone service rates for businesses in outlying parts of Saskatchewan by 10 per cent. In a January statement the carrier said it hopes to have the new prices approved for March 1. SaskTel also said it is reducing some of its long-distance rates, but adding a $2.95-per-month administration fee for long-distance business customers. The firm said its long-distance revenues have decreased by 60 per cent since 1990, and increased competitive pressures are hurt revenues. SaskTel said the higher business rates offset those losses.

A mighty VoP

Ericsson, Nortel Networks and Sonus Networks are the top-three voice-over-packet (VoP) port vendors in the world, according to industry consultancy Dittberner Associates Inc. in Bethesda, Md. In a press release the firm said Ericsson shipped 21 per cent of all VoP ports in Q4 2003, Nortel shipped 17 per cent and Sonus shipped 11 per cent. Dittberner said BT installed over nine million Ericsson VoP ports, while U.S. carriers MCI, Sprint and Verizon went to Nortel. Dittberner said 40 per cent of VoP ports are used for long-distance communications transport.

So long, TDM

IP telephony systems are taking over legacy phone systems, according to Integrated Research Ltd. The software development firm conducted a survey of 2,800 IT and telecom managers, wherein 56 per cent of respondents said they were using IP telephony, 26 per cent said they planned to trial the technology within 12 months, and 18 per cent said they planned trials in two years. Integrated said skeptics remained concerned about reliability. Cisco was the most popular vendor at 52 per cent, followed by Avaya (10 per cent) and Nortel (nine per cent).