TELUS Corp. scoops up Spotnik MobileTELUS Corp. has acquired the remaining interest in Spotnik Mobile the company didn’t already own, Report on Wireless has learned. Sources familiar with the deal indicate that last Monday, June 28, the western-based ILEC finalized an agreement to take 100% control of the Toronto-based hotspot operator. With a viable business model still eluding most hotspot operators, it should come as no surprise that some of the players have begun to disappear from the landscape. The “land grab” of securing the rights to popular locations had to run out of steam because usage rates weren’t as high as some had previously predicted, thus draining the bank accounts more quickly than anticipated. It should also come as no surprise that Spotnik was scooped up by its primary investor TELUS. Spotnik has been on the front line trying to build a hotspot footprint that TELUS could leverage as part of a national hotspot roaming plan unveiled by all four national mobile wireless operators earlier this year (RoW, March 10/04).Spotnik has been a well-funded hotspot provider having received an injection of $6 million from TELUS Ventures about 18 months ago. In an interview with Report on Wireless last July, the company boasted of being able to build out 500 hotspots by the end of that year and owned the rights to more than 1,000.“We’ll have secured the rights to well over 1,000 by the end of the year, but you’ll likely see around 500 deployed,” Spotnik Co-CEO Mark Wolinsky told RoW last July (RoW, July 22/03).MTS and BCE settle disputeManitoba Telecom Services Inc. and BCE Inc. have agreed to settle a lawsuit for $75 million that will see commercial arrangements between the two companies unwind over the next two and a half years. The terms of the agreement also call for BCE to sell its 16% interest in MTS. Of particular note to the wireless business, the existing cellular arrangements between the two companies will remain in effect until the end of 2006. This will give BCE’s Bell Canada subsidiary sufficient time to build a wireless network in Manitoba. The question remains, however, what MTS plans to do to secure a national wireless business should it so desire. Rumours continue to permeate the industry that MTS will try to acquire Microcell Telecommunications Inc. next year if it is still on the market. Microcell recently told its securities holders to reject a revised offer from TELUS. Report on Wireless affiliate publication Network Letter will have more on this development in an upcoming issue. Corporate restructuring in WaveRider’s futureWaveRider Communications will undertake a major corporate restructuring that will see the Toronto-based wireless equipment maker better position itself for future growth, gain access to additional capital markets and expand its financial partnerships. As part of the restructuring the company will consolidate on a 10-to-one basis its common stock and will move its corporate home from Nevada to Canada. The change in corporate domicile will “allow WaveRider to receive a closer following from the Canadian markets as a mid-cap company and should appeal to a wider range of Canadian investors without limiting the access of the company to the U.S. markets,” reads a June 22 news release. On June 30, the company announced that the reverse stock split took effect on July 1 and began trading on the OTC Bulletin Board under a new symbol, WAVR. Canadian company works with Sony Ericsson on wireless gaming enhancementsTira Wireless, a Canadian based Java applications platform provider, is working with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications to enhance the mobile gaming experience for North American consumers, who are seeking a more robust selection of games for their mobile devices. The two companies will use Tira’s Jump platform to speed up portability of Java-based games to Sony Ericsson handsets. The Jump platform can automatically generate multiple builds of Java applications across a broad range of devices, languages and mobile operator requirements. This, say the companies, eliminates the need for developers to manually rewrite applications and keep track of multiple vendors. Tira also announced at the 2004 JavaOne Conference last week that its automated porting platform, Jump, now supports more than 120 different Java handsets, and has created more than 1,000 Java builds from approximately 90 reference applications. Psion Teklogix and Shipcom partner for RFID solutionMississauga ON-based Psion Teklogix and Shipcom Wireless have agreed to develop a new range of wireless products based on Psion’s rugged mobile computing devices. As part of the agreement, Shipcom has agreed to integrate its CATAMARAN and CATAMARAN RFID software into Psion’s family of rugged computing devices. “Many of our customers are beginning to demand comprehensive end-to-end RFID solutions,” Kyle Day, regional VP of Psion Teklogix Americas said in a news release. “Shipcom Wireless is a market leader and we are pleased to work with them to leverage our joint mobile computing and RFID expertise to provide customers with innovative solutions that will drive business value.” Audiovox places orders for Sierra Wireless productsAudiovox Corp. has placed a $29-million order with Sierra Wireless Inc. for its PC5220 1xEV-DO PC cards. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this calendar year. The PC 5220 offers peak data speeds of 2.4 Mbps and typical throughput rates of 300-600 kbps. The PC card was developed for users that require access to critical enterprise applications such as sales force automation and customer relationship management tools. The product offers always-on Internet access and is a dual-band device roaming onto slower 1X networks when out of range of 1xEV-DO networks. AirIQ closes Aircept.com acquisitionAirIQ closed its previously proposed acquisition of Aircept.com LLC on June 29, the company announced. The Toronto-based telematics provider paid US$5 million in cash and 16,800,000 newly issue common shares of AirIQ. A portion of those shares is being held in escrow. Subsequent to the closing of the transaction, AirIQ will make two cash payments of US$4.25 million each to Aircept.com in the future, contingent on the Aircept.com business meeting subscriber growth targets and revenue and gross margin projections. Certicom introduces new wireless security productMississauga ON-based Certicom Corp. has introduced a new wireless security product that allows wireless service providers to share IP addresses with multiple users or devices without previous security compatibility issues. The company’s movianVPN version 4.0 supports the Network Address Translation Traversal (NAT-T) protocol, which was established by the Internet Engineering Task Force.The NAT-T protocol enables IP security (IPsec) to function seamlessly with NAT firewalls. Certicom’s latest movianVPN, with NAT-T support, provides secure and faster connectivity to wireless connections located behind a NAT firewall. 800 MHz interference issue to be settled with week … perhapsThe seemingly unending saga of public safety communications interference issues in the 800 MHz looks like it will be solved once and for all this week. The Federal Communications Commission has put the item on the agenda for its Thursday, July 8 meeting, meaning a firm decision has been made on the controversial issue.Wireless Week reports that the FCC is expected to support Nextel Communications’ plan to migrate out of portions of the 800 MHz in exchange for 10 MHz of spectrum in the 1.9 GHz range.