Department extends comment period in advanced wireless services consultationIndustry Canada has heeded to calls from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and its members that the deadline for comments in the 3G consultation (DGTP-007-03) be extended. The CWTA wanted an extension to March 19, 2004 to submit comments, but the department said that 135 days to prepare comments is sufficient and set March 1, 2004 as the new deadline. The CWTA and many of its members indicated in an October 24 letter to the department that they needed a delay in the deadline because they were going to be focusing significant resources on the upcoming auction of the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz bands, slated to begin in mid-January.Deadline for applications for WCS and FWA auction todayThe deadline to submit applications to participate in Industry Canada’s auction of 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum is today, December 8. The level of interest in the auction is still unclear, but it is anticipated that a diversity of small and large players will submit applications. Some industry observers have told Report on Wireless that they don’t expect too much action in the auction especially if the incumbent telcos decide to participate.However, based on comments that were submitted as part of the consultation process two years ago, wireless cable companies such as Craig Wireless International Inc., Image Wireless Communications Inc. and possibly even Look Communications Inc. are likely to bid for spectrum (RoW, Oct. 30/01). They need return path spectrum for their high-speed Internet services and even called on the department to give them preferential access to the 2300 MHz band as a way to solve the problem.Report on Wireless will soon be releasing a report covering Industry Canada’s past two auctions, articles on this auction, insight into the players, and projections on the auction’s outcome. For more information about the report and to express interest in subscribing to a daily briefing service during the auction, please contact Report on Wireless editor Perry Hoffman at (613) 230-1984 or email@example.com.Primus Canada acquires WISP MIPPSPrimus Telecommunications Canada Inc. has solidified its presence in the wireless Internet access market through the acquisition of Markham ON-based wireless Internet service provider (WISP) MIPPS Inc. Primus has already been offering wireless Internet access service in the Greater Toronto Area for several months, and this acquisition gives the alternative communications provider greater network reach and technical expertise to expand on the business created by MIPPS.Rogers Communications introduces new bundles comprising TV, Internet and wireless servicesRogers Wireless Inc. and Rogers Cable Inc. have introduced five new bundles that allow their subscribers to take advantage of significant cost savings. Customers who choose more than one service will also be able to receive a single bill.“An increasing number of customers are choosing more than one service from Rogers and benefiting from both savings and the convenience of one bill. The Rogers bundles will appeal directly to that type of customer,” Rogers Wireless president and CEO Nadir Mohamed said in a news release.Prices for the bundled offerings start at $54.95/month for a TV/Internet bundle for the consumer space and go to $99.95/month for small businesses. For more information on the new bundles, go to www.rogers.com.Skypoint and Venture Coaches join forcesSkypoint Capital and Venture Coaches have decided to merge their operations and will jointly manage a US$185-million pot to be used to fund early stage companies. Over the past five years, the two firms have provided funding to 34 companies primarily in Canada, but also some in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom.“The merger allows us to expand our management talent and create a team with unmatched operational, financial, technical and business development expertise,” Skypoint’s general partner and co-founder Leo Lax said in a news release.Telesat receives IP traffic management system from DybandTelesat Canada will integrate Dyband’s IP traffic management system into its High-Speed Internet (HSi) business service. The software provides Telesat with control over bandwidth consumption by IP address for up to 50,000 individual satellite subscribers and/or groups. Telesat will also be able to view and control network performance in real time, while gathering historical statistics for later analysis.“The focus of most satellite players has shifted to include two-way broadband local loop access and complex, end-to-end content distribution solutions. These applications demand new solutions that are technically sound, easy to implement and scale with demand,” Christopher Baugh, principal analyst of Northern Sky Research, said in a news release.TeraGo’s Bryan Boyd to speak at WCA symposium next monthBryan Boyd, president and CEO of upstart wireless data communications provider TeraGo Networks Inc., will talk about effective methods for raising capital in today’s capital market at a Wireless Communications Association (WCA) conference next month. He will speak on the opening day of the Tenth Annual WCA Technical Symposium and Business Expo, which is taking place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose CA from January 21 to 23.“The wireless broadband industry has clearly documented its viability, and is increasingly recognized as a major factor in telecom, both in providing redundant, secure networks and as a highly cost-effective alternative to fibre for last-mile, carrier-grade business services,” Boyd said in a news release.Wi-LAN and Radionet sell BWA equipment to Vantaa EnergyCalgary-based Wi-LAN Inc. and Finish network vendor Radionet Oy have sold broadband wireless equipment to Vantaa Energy, a full-service energy company based in Vantaa, Finland. Vantaa has purchased Wi-LAN’s LIBRA fixed wireless access products and Radionet’s broadband wireless equipment for a three-city deployment. Residents in Vantaa, Espoo and Helsinki will be the beneficiaries of the network.Mitec cuts net loss in Q2Mitec Telecom Inc. posted higher revenue and gross profit and significantly cut its net loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2004 ended October 31. Sales topped the $20-million mark, up from $18.6 in the previous year’s second quarter. Gross profit also improved, growing to $4.2 million from $3.8 million.Net loss from operations was dramatically cut in Q2 compared to the same period last year. The Q2 net loss was $1.2 million compared to $4.6 million in last year’s second quarter. But the company achieved the break-even point before taking into account discontinued operations.INTERNATIONAL NEWSConcourse announces three new airport roaming agreementsConcourse Communications Group LLC has inked airport hotspot roaming agreements with iPass, STSN and Boingo. Concourse now has airport roaming agreements with four communications service providers.Pyramid Research says that there will be 10,000 commercial hotspot locations in the United States and airports are among the most valuable. “Every roaming agreement is a step forward in making these networks more useful to consumers,” Pyramid Research analyst John Yunker said in a news release.U.S. court rejects USTA bid for stay on wireless number portabilityThe U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected the United States Telecom Association’s (USTA) request for a stay in wireline-to-wireless number portability, according to Wireless Week. However, the door isn’t completely shut on the USTA’s fight, according to analysts.Rudy Baca, VP and global strategist for market analysis firm Precursor, says this is only the first step in the association’s battle and that the whole process has yet to be played out.Reaction to the court’s decision was as expected. While the wireline carriers tried to spin the decision in the best possible light, the wireless community cheered the decision.