Canadians plan IP-mobile integrations

About 73% of Canadian businesses plan to integrate their mobile voice and data services with the enterprise IP network, according to a survey from AT&T and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The findings put Canadians on par with their global counterparts – the worldwide average is 72%. Technology acquisition costs and deployment challenges are the biggest hurdles in this country, according to AT&T. But only 45% of Canadian firms have a clear mobile-IP integration strategy, compared to 76% in the US. Mobile-IP integration extends office-based communication functions such as directory dialing and single-number reach to mobile devices.

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Mobile market might slip

Global mobile phone sales are expected to total US$117.5 billion in 2010, down 18% from 2006, according to Infonetics Research. It's a dire prediction from the San Jose CA firm in a month that has seen Waterloo ON's Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) unveil the BlackBerry 8820 smartphone, which provides dual-mode GSM and Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Business interests inform diversity comments

Concentrated? White? Laudable qualities in laundry detergent, but arguably not in Canada's broadcasting system. The comments submitted last week as part of the CRTC's Diversity of Voices proceeding offer a glimpse of industry stakeholders' feelings on the level of ‘sameness' in broadcasting. Not surprisingly, the general rule is the bigger the entity, the less it objects to consolidation and the more it wants regulations loosened.

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RFID swims into the spotlight

Imagine sitting at a sushi bar where a buffet of tiny pieces of heaven are moved along by a conveyor belt. You don't need to wait for a server to come by; you can help yourself as your choice plate moves by. The food is always fresh and served at the right temperature. Your bill is automatically calculated by the number of plates you choose. It may sound futuristic, but it's happening now – thanks to RFID technology, which is coming into all sorts of businesses.

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Free Wi-Fi in prairie cities

Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw have joined the municipal Wi-Fi crowd. The Saskatchewan cities have unveiled wireless data networks providing free Internet access in public places. Part of the Saskatchewan! Connected initiative, the networks operate on Cisco Systems Inc. mesh access points in 450 locations throughout the municipalities. SaskTel designed and deployed the infrastructure. According to a Cisco press release, Saskatchewan! Connected was developed by the Government of Saskatchewan Information Technology Office in response to ideas from the 2007 Youth Summit in Saskatoon. Fredericton and Toronto have municipal Wi-Fi networks; numerous organizations in communities across the country are also erecting wireless hotspots.

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Do Canuck bucks go as far as greenbacks?

Do Canadians really pay less than Americans for wireless services? At least two organizations claim the answer is "yes," and rather convincingly. But one group makes an equally compelling case reaching the opposite conclusion. Which side is right? Time to dust off the old adding machine.

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Virtual worlds, real business opportunities

Call it late-90s-style virtual reality, redux. The Internet is rapidly morphing into a 3D medium, and virtual worlds such as Second Life are no longer seen as glorified games but as online spaces with populations, geographies and economies. There are real commercial opportunities in virtual worlds, and many companies are working to develop them.

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DNC rules big improvement for consumers

Despite concerns that the CRTC's new telemarketing rules leave too many openings for unsolicited telephone calls, the national do-not-call (DNC) list is a big improvement for consumers, according to the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA).

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