Bell lights up Starbucks with Wi-Fi serviceBell Canada and Starbucks Coffee Canada announced that Wi-Fi service will become available in more than 400 locations across Canada over the next year.  Rollout has already started in Ontario where 140 locations will get the service. "As a company, we offer our customers a comfortable place to connect over great coffee. Whether it’s discovering great new music or keeping in touch with friends around the world, Starbucks’ partnership with Bell takes connecting over coffee to a whole new level. Our customers will find that Wi-Fi service at Starbucks comes with great extras, like the ability to listen to free music clips from CDs featured in our stores," Starbucks Coffee Canada president Colin Moore said in a news release.  There is considerable demand for public Wi-Fi according a recent Bell Canada Consumer Survey. The number of Canadian wireless Internet users is expected to more than double over the next year, concludes the survey, increasing from 18% today to 40% in 2006. Over the next year, the number of Internet users expected to access the Internet in public locations such as coffee shops will increase considerably to 72% from 43%. Other survey findings are:• 71% of all Canadian wireless Internet users – and 81% between ages 18 and 24 – say they are likely or somewhat likely to use wireless Internet in 2006 at coffee shops and other locations where Wi-Fi hotspots are available;• Canadians in Ontario and Alberta are the most likely to drink coffee while using the Internet, followed by residents in Quebec and Atlantic Canada;• Canadians under 35, and those with a post-secondary education, are the most likely to surf the ‘Net and sip coffee. TELUS gets into oil businessTELUS Corp. has introduced a wireless field ticketing system for the oil and gas industry, allowing "companies to electronically crucial operational status and billing information from the field." This new electronic system eliminates the old paper and pen system and reduces the amount of error taking place in the field.   Unlimited wireless long distance from AliantAliant Telecom has introduced unlimited cellular long distance within Atlantic Canada for $20 per month. To be able to get the competitively priced long-distance services, subscribers have to already subscribe to the company’s Aliant Value Package. "We listen to our customers and develop products and services based on their needs, just as we did with the introduction of value packages.  The unlimited cellular long distance feature is another way that customers can customize their value packages to suit their unique communications requirements," Aliant’s wireless consumer marketing director Terry Finnigan said in a news release.   WebTech wins contract with City of San FranciscoBurnaby BC-based WebTech Wireless Inc. has inked an agreement to supply the City of San Francisco with its Quadrant fleet management products and services. Under terms of the agreement, WebTech will outfit more than 400 city and county public works service vehicles. "We need immediate access to information about how our fleet is operating so can best manage our resources and prioritize our work," San Francisco’s department of public works deputy director of operations Mohammed Nuru said in a news release.  "The system allows us to make our work transparent to the citizens of San Francisco while providing a high degree of accountability through cross-department integration, permitting various fleets including street sweepers, dump trucks and backhoes from four separate operations bureaus within the department of public works to utilize WebTech’s reporting capabilities."   Spectrum Signal inks deal with Globalstar for gatewaySpectrum Signal Processing Inc. has won a US$1-million contract with Globalstar LLC to help build a satellite gateway for the company. This is the first stage of a broader satellite gateway upgrade, which will provide Globalstar customers with enhanced asset tracking capabilities. "The initial contract for the supply of SDR-3000 hardware, software and related application engineering services is expected to be complete by early 2006," reads a news release. If this stage proves successful, Spectrum Signal will gain revenue of US$500,000 per satellite gateway upgrade.   Dexit loses out on TfL smart card deployment bidToronto-based Dexit Inc. has not made the list of finalists bidding for Transport of London’s (TfL) smart card ticket payment system. "We are naturally disappointed by the news," Dexit president and CEO Renah Persofsky said in a news release. "Existing payment systems such as TfL’s Oyster card represents attractive growth opportunities for us because they allow us to piggyback the Dexit service onto an established payment card that is already in use by a large consumer base...We are currently engaged in evaluating new opportunities where this experience can be applied."   Sell BlackBerry unit, one analyst says to RIMResearch in Motion Ltd. (RIM) should sell its BlackBerry business and focus instead on software, a move that would allow the company to better defend itself increasing competition from rivals such as Microsoft Corp.  Ray Sharma, an analyst with GMP Securities Ltd., wrote in a research brief that RIM could earn as much as $8.7 billion if the company divested itself of its BlackBerry operation. He estimated that the remaining operations, which include licensing and servers, would be worth about US$11.3 billion.   Gennum introduces latest Bluetooth headset Gennum Corp. is making Bluetooth headsets better. The company recently introduced the nXZEN, which offers "the most advanced and powerful noise reduction in the industry." It is one of the smallest headsets in the market and offers seven hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby time. "Demand for wireless headsets is growing at an astonishing pace.  However, users are discovering that the typical headset provides a much less satisfying experience in loud environments. One of the most common places that headsets are used is in the automobile...This is one of the most challenging noise environments for wireless headsets," Gennum senior VP and GM of the audio and wireless division Gora Ganguli said in a news release.   Magma chooses Diversinet for mobile betting securityDiversinet Corp. has announced that its MobiSecure Soft Tokens and MobiSecure Authentication Service Centre (MASC) has been selected by Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) to secure mobile betting transactions for MEC’s customers.  The implementation of Diversinet’s MASC will give MEC a single framework to secure all betting transactions from mobile and fixed devices, while protecting users’ identity at the same time. "The MobiSecure product will allow MEC to strongly authenticate bettors whether they use cellular, Wi-Fi, Internet or on-track devices, and will increase confidence in mobile betting transactions.  Diversinet’s product will also support geo-fencing and age verification, two important issues in the regulation of mobile betting," Magna’s CIO Steve Keech said in a news release.   Route1 unveils mobile banking applicationRoute1, a Toronto-based developer of wireless remote computing applications, has introduced Mobi Solution, a system that uses existing wireless and mobile network infrastructures – data cellular, Wi-Fi and LAN – to give bank employees "seamless and secure control" of corporate data.  "At a time when it seems work is no longer a place, but simply what we do, Route1’s solutions squarely addresses the needs of both mobile workforces and corporate requirements driven by regulatory compliance, business continuity, and network and application integrity," reads a news release.