Freedom Mobile, the wireless network acquired by Shaw Communications last year, will soon work with all iPhones and other LTE device

Freedom Mobile, the wireless network acquired by Shaw Communications last year, will soon work with all iPhones and other LTE devices. The Calgary-based company has announced its struck a deal with Apple Inc. that will allow it to sell the iPhone directly to customers and will also “re-frame” its network to make older devices compatible by reallocating some of its older 3G bands to carry LTE traffic. The company says the changes will happen by December in Alberta and BC, and early next year in Ontario.

Telus outsourcing and call centre arm Telus International will acquire a 65 per cent stake in IT consulting firm Xavient Information Systems for an estimated $250M USD. California-based Xavient has about 1,800 employees and operations throughout the U.S. and India. The purchase is expected to close before the end of the year. Telus will then have the option to acquire the remaining stake in the company by Dec. 31, 2020.

The CRTC says Bell Canada is to provide the city of Hamilton with vertical coordinates of its underground facilities on request for pre-design purposes, but only when its deemed “reasonably necessary.” The decision puts to rest a five-year dispute between the two parties over a clause in the municipal access agreement. The CRTC decision also stipulates that both sides are to pay 50 per cent of the costs associated with any field investigations.

Ajit Pai

The Federal Communications Commission(FCC) has voted 3-2 to abolish the main studio rule, established in 1939. The rule required radio and TV broadcasters to maintain studios within 25 miles of the communities they were licensed to serve. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argued the rule is irrelevant in the digital age and that the cost of maintaining a physical studio could be redirected towards local programming. The FCC will vote next month on rolling back the rules blocking ownership of radio/TV stations and newspapers serving the same market.

The Atlantic Journalism Awards will open for entries on Dec. 1 and close Jan. 31, 2018.  There are 28 individual categories for newspaper, radio, television, magazines and online.  Details can be found at www.AJAs.ca. This year’s gala dinner and awards celebration will be held on Apr. 28 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft held more than 100 separate meetings with members of the Liberal government over the past year, according to an investigation by Radio-Canada. Its review of the federal lobby registry found Amazon had 99 registered communications, Google lobbyists had 37 meetings including one with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and six with her chief of staff Leslie Church, who used to work for the search engine. Microsoft, Netflix and Facebook also had meetings with federal officials. Bell Canada had 69 registered communications over the last year; Shaw had 51 and Rogers had 38. Corus met with officials 24 times, while Québecor had seven meetings.

Solutions Research has published its landmark Newcomers to Canada study looking at the wireless, home internet, and media habits of new Canadian immigrants. Interviews conducted with nearly 1,200 newcomers in June, found smartphones are universal among newcomers with Rogers’ Fido banner taking the top spot with a 21 per cent share, another 16 per cent have a wireless phone from Rogers. Three-in-four (76 per cent) have a conventional cable or an IPTV or satellite TV subscription from Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus or smaller providers. Over half (57 per cent) of newcomers reported using Netflix in the past month. YouTube use is also nearly universal with 93 per cent of newcomers saying they used YouTube in the last week. Fifty-one per cent said they had used a music streaming service like Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music or Soundcloud in the past month. CTV and CBC were the most watched TV channels, followed by Global.

 

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