Telecom news through the dog days of summer

The lazy crazy hazy days of summer may mean slow news days in other industries, but high humidex readings and closed schools never slowed down the telecommunications and IT networking sectors.


In the summer of 2002, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ratified the 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard, allowing interoperability among network devices transferring 10 billion bits per second.


At the time, it was targeted mainly at organizations running computing-intensive applications such as scientific simulations. But times change, and two months ago, the IEEE ratified the 40/100 Gbps Ethernet standard.


In August, 2003, crown corporation VIA Rail announced Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. would provideInternet access on some passenger trains using a combination of ExpressVu satellite service and Wi-Fi access points.


Two years later, police were getting in on the wireless act. In the summer of 2005, the Toronto Police Service announced Rogers Communications Inc. would install 450 wireless modems in police cruisers, with transfer rates of about 150 Kilobits per second.


This came about three years after Rogers Wireless Inc. announced net earnings of $773,000, which may seem small but was the first time in three years the wireless unit did not lose money.


Last winter, Rogers announced quarterly earnings of $450 million thanks in part to a 40 per cent increase in wireless data revenue. But CEO Nadir Mohamed suggested Rogers Wireless will stick with High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)  wireless for now, rather than rush to offer Long Term Evolution.

Early in the summer of 2006, Nortel Networks Corp.’s George Riedel revealed he was initially reluctant to accept the firm’s job offer as chief strategy officer. During the Canadian Telecom Summit, Riedel said he had told then-CEO Mike Zafirovski “I’m kind of busy, thanks for the call.”


Zafirovski managed to convince Riedel to take the job, but three years later, Riedel would appear at a hearing of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, which was looking into various questions about Nortel’s bankruptcy.


The hearings were called after executives from Research in Motion Inc. claimed Nortel’s plan to sell its code division multiple access (CDMA) unit to Nokia Siemens Networks could harm Canada’s national security.


The CDMA unit was eventually sold to Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, which hired 900 former Canadian Nortel workers.


Nortel's former CEO, Frank Dunn, had a couple of court appearances this summer.



In the summer of 2008, Dunn was charged by the federal government under the Criminal Code with fraud affecting public market, falsification of books and documents and  false prospectus. The charges have yet to be proven in court, the trial has not started and his next appearance is scheduled next month.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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