The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
Comment period on E911 closes in United States
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) consultation on E911 compatibility rules came to a close last week with wireless operators saying E911 should be extended to mobile satellite service (MSS) providers as well. Verizon Wireless stated in its comments that it supports "ending mobile satellite service providers exemption from E911 obligations. … To the extent the commission seeks to impose E911 obligations on wireless resellers, legal and policy reasons support imposing any such obligations on them directly and not in the underlying facilities-based carrier." MSS providers balked at this suggestion. ICO Global Communications argued that subjecting MSS providers to E911 compatibility would require a huge investment in retrofitting their networks. As MSS providers objected to a requirement on their part to adopt E911 standards, the telematics industry also expressed similar sentiments. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Mercedes Benz submitted comments stating that regulating telematics services on vehicles isn’t required because the industry is already competitive and spurring growth and innovation. They said regulation will hamper those efforts. The FCC has mandated E911 for the country’s wireless operators by November of this year. The wireless industry has long opposed any firm deadline saying it is unreasonable to expect to have nationwide E911 by the November deadline.
BCE Inc. president and CEO Michael Sabia is one of eight new members to Adventis’ board of advisors. Adventis is a strategy and management consulting firm specializing in information industries. Also named to the advisory board are Betsy Bernard, president of AT&T; Pierre Danon, CEO of British Telecom Retail; Didier Delepine, president and CEO of Equant; Keith Cowan, chief planning and development officer at BellSouth Corp.; Matt Desch, CEO of Telecordia Technologies; Doug McMahon, VP worldwide telecom HP services of Hewlett-Packard; and Terrence Valeski, CEO and managing director of Eurotel.
Look Communications board approves rights offering
The board of directors of Look Communications Inc. has approved a rights offering for the company’s current shareholders. Under terms of the offering, shareholders would be able to purchase additional common shares of Look. Details of the plan are still under wraps, but the company expects to file the plan with the appropriate authorities in April. Look expects to generate approximately $20 to $25 million from the rights offering. Commonly referred to as a poison pill, a rights offering can offer significant protection against a hostile takeover bid. Last year, Craig Wireless International Inc. upped its stake in Look to about 30% by buying shares from Teleglobe Inc. (RoW, Feb. 4/03).
Montreal-based SR Telecom Inc. has inked an agreement to purchase struggling U.S.-based wireless equipment maker Netro Corp. in a complicated stock deal that will see Netro shareholders own 43% of the combined entity. As part of the US$121-million deal, SR Telecom will gain control of the highly touted Angel product line as well as the AirStar line of fixed wireless access products. The acquisition is expected to close in early July 2003.