For many Canadians attending nextMEDIA earlier this month, a Sling Media Inc. executive's presentation was the first time they'd been privy to details of the firm's upcoming Clip+Sling offering. Indeed, many in the audience referred to the service as "the big story" of the conference.
Research In Motion Ltd.'s dual-mode GSM/CDMA 8830 "World Edition" BlackBerry is now ready for Canadian consumption. On June 26 and June 28, Bell Mobility and Telus Corp., respectively, said they'd carry the device, which gives users access to both CDMA networks and GSM networks. It's a significant enhancement for business travelers who use Bell's or Telus' CDMA networks for wireless access in Canada. Now they'll be able to make calls on GSM networks abroad – GSM is a more popular mobile standard outside of North America.
Canadian Internet service providers average 7 Mbps, well above the 1.9 Mbps US average, according to the Communications Workers of America's (CWA) recent survey. But Japan averages 61 Mbps, South Korea averages 45 Mbps, and France averages 17 Mbps. "The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national policy to promote universal, high-speed Internet access," said CWA president Larry Cohen in a statement. "The grim results of the CWA Speed Test illustrate that, without a national policy, we risk losing our competitive edge in today's global economy – and the jobs that go with it."
Mobile Voice over IP (VoIP) appears to be gaining some momentum in Canada with the first such deployment of its kind in the country announced in Montreal earlier this month. Montreal-area ISP Radioactif.com in conjunction with telecom equipment installer Nomade Telecom are deploying a Wi-Fi/WiMAX network to cover about 50% of the city and 90% of residents.
Professional video game players in Canada have hit the big time! New York-headquartered Major League Gaming, the largest league and international governing body for competitive video gaming, is setting up shop in Canada with the aid of Toronto's Insight Sports Ltd.
Intertainment Media Inc., a Toronto firm specializing in new media marketing and owner of the EyeRockDigital.com branded video portal, made a move earlier this month to buy a minority stake in another Toronto company specializing in Web broadcasting.
In about a month, parties to the proceeding on rate de-averaging in the business sector will make their views known, and competitive providers are likely to oppose any move giving the incumbent telephone companies additional pricing flexibility.
Ottawa-based network equipment maker Mitel Networks Corp. is suing rival Sunnyvale CA-based ShoreTel Inc. over communication-gear patents. Mitel contends that ShoreTel has infringed four Mitel patents relating to PBX Web control, remote user access, presence and phone-system architecture. The patents were issued in 1996 and 1997. Claiming innovation as its bread and butter, Mitel says it plans to assert its rights over its intellectual property.
Cogeco Cable Inc. rolled out six new high-definition services to its digital cable customers in Quebec earlier this month. Interestingly, those services aren't culled from the specialty channel universe, but rather American and Canadian conventional broadcasting.