News Briefs – DND

The Department of National Defence is boosting the throughput of the satellite technology it uses to provide communications to troops in the field — as well as the speed at which it can procure such technology in the future.

Stratos Global Corp. has been given a three-year national individual standing offer (NISO) to provide Inmarsat leased satellite capacity services to DND. The deal, which includes its Enhanced Leasing Service (ELS), means the military will enjoy more bandwidth capacity and a quicker turnaround time, said LCdr Dave Munro.

“If the government said you’re going into the Congo next week and you need to supply a liaison officer, we needed a channel of communication,” he said. “The problem we had with the rules for acquiring of service is that working through the government and Public Works meant it was about two months before we could do that.”

The NISO will expedite that process considerably, Munro said, meaning requests can be processed in about three to five days. The offer includes two one-year extensions past its initial term. The satellite services have already been deployed in various places around the world, including Afghanistan, where Canadian troops are fighting Al Qaeda terrorists and insurgents allied with the former Taliban rulers as part of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom.

Munro said the ELS means multiple terminals – whether they are handhelds or laptops – can share a single leased channel, in any combination up to a maximum rate of 128 Kbps.

“Whatever you can stick in an IP stream – VoIP, voice, fax and data – can be broken out once its gets done,” he said. A standard leased 100 KHz Inmarsat channel runs at about 64 Kbps, but Munro said ELS, through modem modulation, can double that.

-Shane Schick

John Chambers says he is serious about changing all aspects of customer’s lives.

During his keynote address at the 8th annual Cisco Partner Summit in San Diego, the president and CEO of Cisco Systems said the networking giant has to change because the market is on the edge of huge opportunity in the convergence of data, voice, video and mobility.

Chambers’s new technology bet will be to position the network as the place for all applications and services.

Those customers today who are dealing with growth have placed a priority on collaborating more effectively internally and externally. Video, Chambers believes, will be at the centre of this strategy.

Three current worldwide trends are solidifying this trend, he said. They include globalization, mobilization depending on the device the end user wants to use, and virtualization, where users do not know where the processors are or where the data is stored, and the process is basically transparent across the network.

This shift in direction is one of the reasons Cisco has released Unified Communications products and will, in a year, debut Telepresence, a Halo-like conferencing system.

Charlie Giancarlo, senior vice-president and chief development officer for Cisco, said everything from PCs and cell phones to security cameras will be connected to the Internet over IP.

“If you have a movie service at home you will have it on the road and it will be on your mobile device or on your cell phone. You will not know how that content got to your phone,” Giancarlo said.

Giancarlo said future networking directions will be in two areas: people to machine and machine to machine with no human involvement.

“It is time to build networks for all these different situations: people to people and machine to machine,” Giancarlo said.
-Paolo Del Nibletto

Canada’s ruling Conservative Party may have its roots in a political movement that supported free enterprise and globalization, but at press time, Industry Minister Maxime Bernier had not committed to lifting the restrictions on foreign ownership of telecom carriers.

An Industry Canada spokesman said Bernier would not comment because he was waiting to review the final report of the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel, which was set up by the previous Liberal government.

The Telecommunications Act prohibits non-Canadians from owning more than 20 per cent of a carrier’s voting shares, and from owning more than a third of the voting shares of a holding company that owns a carrier – effectively barring a foreign company from holding a majority stake in a telco.

The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel recommended the government “liberalize” the restrictions but only after another group of experts reviews Canada’s broadcasting policy.

Three years ago, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology recommended that the government lift the restrictions, but then-Industry Minister David Emerson left the restrictions in place.

Now that Emerson has crossed the floor and joined the Conservative Party as Minister of International Trade, he will probably oppose any move to allow foreign takeovers of carriers, said Eamon Hoey, a Toronto-based telecommunications management consultant.

“He sits at the Cabinet table, so he’s going to continue his objection” to foreign ownership, Hoey said. “That’s one of the bitches I have against this government, because it impounded people whose views are already anti-competitive and anti-industry.”

Emerson’s office staff referred all requests for comment to Bernier’s office.
-Greg Meckbach

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