Downtown Ottawa getting massive wireless networkA trendy portion of Ottawa’s downtown core close to the Rideau Canal will soon be blanketed by a wireless network, allowing residents in the quarter, dubbed the Golden Triangle, to access the Internet from anywhere within network coverage. Dave Dobbin, COO of Telecom Ottawa, tells Report on Wireless in an interview that this network broadens wireless coverage that already extends from Ottawa’s police station to City Hall. RoW will have more on this in its next issue. Proposed changes to 5 GHz band supported, mild concern expressedRespondents to Industry Canada’s DGTP-005-04 proposing changes to its 5 GHz spectrum policy generally agree with the department’s position, but some have expressed concern about potential interference issues. Satellite industry stakeholders are worried that the department hasn’t paid enough attention to potential interference from unlicensed systems on licensed satellite operations. Telesat Canada writes: “Telesat’s concern relates primarily to allowing unlicensed systems to operate in bands allocated to satellite services and in which licensed satellite networks (as well as other licensed users of the band) presently operate in Canada, or are planned to operate. In particular, Telesat is concerned about the seeming lack of control of aggregate interference from large numbers of unlicensed devices into satellite and/or earth station receivers.”Report on Wireless will present a more detailed look at matters raised in comments in an upcoming issue. AirIQ acquires American telematics companyToronto-based AirIQ Inc. has inked an agreement to acquire Aircept.com LLC, a telematics company based in Irvine CA, which has more than 80,000 subscribers. The company added 15,000 new subscriber units in the first quarter of 2004 alone. Don Simmonds, president and CEO of AirIQ, noted in a news release that this transaction could mark the beginning of consolidation in the telematics industry. “Such highly compatible business models make this an ideal combination. It also signals our intent to lead a consolidation of the telematics service industry,” he said.The acquisition, which is expected to close within several weeks, will be paid for through the issue of 16.8 million AirIQ common shares and $6.75 million in cash. The transaction is estimated to be worth nearly $23.8 million, based on AirIQ’s five-day average share closing price of $0.33. Vermont Capital to work with Tadaa to roll out city-wide wireless networkHotspot operator Tadaa Wireless of Montreal has joined with technology consulting firm Summit Technologies and SoVerNet Inc., a telecommunications service provider, to blanket the Vermont state capital of Montpelier with a large wireless network. Tadaa will provide all the billing and authentication services for the Wi-Fi network, which was to be introduced on June 18. MontpelierNet will be rolled out in three phases with the ultimate goal of connecting municipal government offices, local businesses and citizens to the broadband Internet. Phase one will see city facilities connected to city hall, followed in the second stage by providing access to the business community. The third phase will also see greater penetration in businesses with an emphasis on retail, restaurants and small offices. Wi-Fi again free at Ottawa’s World Exchange PlazaThe decision to introduce fees for wireless Internet access in Ottawa World Exchange Plaza didn’t work out as planned and it is again free for anyone within range of the system. Last week, BelNet Communications and AirRoamer announced the return of free service, noting that those interested in using the service simply have to enter their cell phone number to confirm their identity. The pay-per-use model faces a number of challenges and the proof was in the pudding in the number of users at the World Exchange Plaza. Gord Gifford, director of business development at BelNet, said: “Usage on the pay-per-use system was extremely low and not serving the objective of attracting wireless Internet users to the World Exchange Plaza.” Wavesat to develop WiMAX designs with MurandiMontreal-based Wavesat Inc. has signed an agreement to develop WiMAX reference designs and to support original equipment manufacturer (OEM) product development with Calgary-based Murandi Communications Ltd. Murandi will use Wavesat’s WiMAX compliant chip to develop reference designs for base stations, customer premise equipment, point-to-multipoint and point-to-point applications for licensed and unlicensed frequency bands. The first reference designs are to be available in the fourth quarter of this year. INTERNATIONAL NEWSCell phone industry low in customer satisfaction: reportA new report from the University of Michigan’s customer satisfaction index reveals that the U.S. cell phone industry is the second-lowest ranked industry for customer satisfaction. The university’s findings mirror others that have found the cellular telephone industry a little lacking on the customer satisfaction front. The Better Business Bureau ranked mobile phone complaints at No. 2 last year for most complaints nationwide – a slight improvement over the previous where it held the number one position. Mobile data revenue to double in five years, Yankee GroupNew research from the Yankee Group indicates that revenue from mobile data services will account for all of mobile revenue growth in Western Europe until 2008. Released at its Wireless Leadership Forum in London U.K. last week, the research firm projects that mobile revenue will stagnate at about US$124 million, while mobile data revenue will more than double over the next five years to approximately US$50 billion. Fueling this growth, says the Yankee Group, will be a quadrupling in wireless entertainment revenue and a doubling of enterprise wireless data users. “Voice markets are saturated and voice ARPU is declining. Data ARPU, however, will more than double over five years, representing 29% of total ARPU,” states Declan Lonergan, the Yankee Group’s director of Wireless/Mobile Europe.