Displaying items by tag: Canada
The US Department of Justice has confirmed that it will continue to seek the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Vancouver in December. The DOJ are claiming that she violated trade sanctions with Iran and want her to appear on trial in the United States.
The arrest of the prominent Huawei CFO who is the daughter of the company’s founder kicked off a diplomatic row between China and Canada, which is still ongoing. China detained a number of Canadian diplomats in the immediate aftermath of the arrest of Wanzhou in Vancouver, which was seen as retaliation.
However, the DOJ are continuing their efforts in terms of extraditing the Huawei CFO back to US for questioning, despite reports to the contrary that claimed they were willing to drop the extradition order.
"We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the US/Canada Extradition Treaty," said Justice Department spokesperson Marc Raimondi.
Wanzhou was freed on bail of Can$10 million (US$7.5 million) bail and is awaiting a hearing on her extradition. According to the agreement between the two countries, the United States has 60 days after an arrest made at its request in Canada to formalize an extradition request.
Once a request has been submitted, the Canadian justice ministry then has 30 days to proceed with official extradition proceedings, though the process can take months or years.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, has been released on Can$10 million bail by a Canadian court. The Chinese telecom executive faces a US extradition bid on charges related to alleged violations of Iran sanctions.
She was ordered to surrender her passport and will be subjected to electronic monitoring whilst she stays in Vancouver. Her lawyer said she was not deemed a flight risk, as she did not want to ‘embarrass China.’
The daughter of Huawei’s founder, Meng is accused of lying to bankers about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions. She faces more than 30 years in prison if she is convicted.
The extradition process, scheduled to start on February 6, could take months or even years.
Her arrest has shaken China's relations with Canada and the United States, with concerns that it could derail a US-China trade war truce. President Donald Trump has said he "would certainly intervene" in the case if it can help strike a deal with China.
Meanwhile, the US State Department called on China to "end all forms of arbitrary detentions" after Michael Kovrig - a North East Asia senior adviser, and former Canadian diplomat - was detained in Beijing. The international crisis group (ICG) said in a statement that it has received no information about Kovrig since his detention and is concerned about his health and safety.
Former Canadian ambassador to Beijing, Guy Saint-Jacques, said Kovrig's detention was likely linked to Meng's case.
"There is no coincidence in China," Saint-Jacques told AFP. "In this case it is clear the Chinese government wants to put maximum pressure on the Canadian government."
The CFO at Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has been arrested and detained in Canada, in a move that has been met with vehement criticism amongst authorities in Beijing, who have called for her immediate release.
TELUS Corporation today released its unaudited results for the third quarter of 2018. For the quarter, the operator consolidated operating revenue of $3.8 billion increased by 11 per cent over the same period a year ago.
This growth was driven by higher wireless network and equipment revenues, wireline services revenue growth and higher other operating income resulting from our share of the non-recurring equity income related to real estate joint ventures of $171 million arising from the sale of TELUS Garden. Excluding this equity income consolidated operating revenue increased by 5.8 per cent.
Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 8.2 per cent to $1.3 billion due to higher revenue growth as referenced above and improved wireless equipment margins.
This growth was partly offset by incremental employee benefits expense due to recent business acquisitions and increased costs to support our growing customer base. Adjusted EBITDA was up 6.4 per cent when excluding the net gain from the sale of TELUS Garden, as well as restructuring and other costs, which included our committed donation of $118 million to the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.
“TELUS reported strong operational and financial results for the third quarter, including robust customer growth across both the wireless and wireline segments of our business. This was buttressed by a continued excellent performance in wireless and wireline customer loyalty and lifetime revenue,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO. “Importantly, the TELUS team continues to achieve industry-leading postpaid wireless churn, and realized record third quarter high-speed Internet and TV retention levels. This performance was driven by our team’s relentless focus on providing exceptional customer experiences, and was anchored by the ongoing generational investments we are making in our leading broadband wireline and wireless networks, both of which are hallmarks of TELUS’ successful, long-term growth strategy.”
Mr. Entwistle added, “The efficacy of our broadband technology investments is reflected in TELUS, once again, being named as having the fastest mobile network in Canada by PCMag. This repeat acknowledgement builds on our outstanding record of achievement with respect to network excellence, having already earned the top spot in all major mobile networks reporting this year, including Ookla, J.D. Power and OpenSignal. These leading network rankings, each received consecutively for two or more years, reinforce the consistent superiority of TELUS’ broadband networks available to citizens across the country.
Mr. Entwistle further commented, “Our dividend increase announced today, on the back of our 41 per cent free cash flow growth, reflects the sixteenth increase since 2011, and is the fourth in our most recent three-year dividend growth program, targeting annual growth between seven and 10 per cent through 2019. This builds on our proven track record of providing investors with the industry’s best multi-year dividend growth program, which continues to generate significant value for our shareholders. Notably, TELUS has now returned $16 billion to shareholders, including $10.8 billion in dividends, representing $27 per share since 2004. We look forward to updating investors on the progression of this program at our 2019 annual general meeting.”
Doug French, Executive Vice-president and CFO said, “For the third quarter of 2018, TELUS delivered positive operational and financial results, reflecting the strength of our multiple product and valued service offerings, our commitment to customer service excellence and our network superiority. Our strategic capital investments are clearly paying off, as evidenced by our strong subscriber and loyalty results, and position us to maintain our network leadership as we progressively move towards the arrival of 5G.”
Mr. French added, “As we head into the seasonally important final quarter of 2018, we remain focused on executing against our strategy, amplifying our efforts on cost efficiency, focusing on margin accretive customer growth and investing to support our growth strategy. Today we are raising our full year 2018 assumption for restructuring and other costs, including an additional $50 million targeted towards further streamlining our business and enhancing our effectiveness in serving our growing customer base. This additional investment in restructuring, to be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018, is expected to deliver annual cost savings of more than $50 million beginning next year. Meanwhile, our net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio continues to improve, putting us in good position for 2019.”
Bell Canada recently announced the launch of ‘Advanced Messaging’, the country's first integrated Rich Communications Services (RCS) messaging experience. Available first on Samsung's latest-generation smartphones, Bell Advanced Messaging offers a suite of mobile messaging features previously available through specialized third-party applications.
Bell customers with the recently announced Samsung Note8 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are the first to experience these new messaging enhancements, without having to download an app or change their current setups. More smartphones will be enabled with Advanced Messaging in future and Bell will continue to enhance the service with new features.
Bell Advanced Messaging offers enhanced delivery notifications – shows if a message was sent, received, read or when the other person is typing; longer messages and group chat – messages can be up to 8,000 characters and group chats up to 100 participants; file transfers – supports higher-resolution pictures, longer videos and additional file types, such as PDF, XLS and ZIP files; and one messaging inbox and conversation history – combines all Advanced Messaging, SMS and MMS messages with the same contact in one convenient conversation view.
"As the first integrated RCS product available in Canada, Bell Advanced Messaging takes the standard mobile carrier messaging experience to the next level with powerful new features like group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts and much more," said Nauby Jacob, Bell's Vice President, Products and Services. "We're proud to partner with Samsung to bring our customers this Canadian first on the country's fastest ranked mobile network and the first in North America to offer full Quad Band LTE data speeds."
The Samsung Note8 is also the latest Samsung device to operate on Bell's Quad Band LTE-A network, which can deliver mobile data speeds of up to 750 Mbps (expected average speeds of 25 to 220 Mbps). A North American first, Bell's Quad Band network was launched in April and service is already available in approximately 50 cities throughout Canada.
"We are committed to helping accelerate and expand advanced messaging through our infrastructure and services, and thrilled to deliver this experience to our Galaxy Note8, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ customers through Bell," said Paul Brannen, COO and EVP of Mobile Devices for Samsung Canada.
Mobile Klinik, Canada’s fastest growing professional smartphone and tablet repair chain, today announced completion of an acquisition of mobilFIX and Dr. Mobile smartphone repair businesses for an undisclosed amount. The chain has nine smartphone repair outlets, with seven established locations in the Edmonton area and two other stores opening soon, also in Alberta.
“This acquisition both accelerates our profitable growth and will anchor our growth strategy in Western Canada,” said Rob Bruce, Founding Partner and CEO, Mobile Klinik. “We are excited to work with the talented team at mobilFIX and Dr. Mobile to serve Albertans with while-you-wait, fully warrantied professional smartphone and tablet repair.
Sunil Goel, former CEO of mobilFIX and Dr. Mobile (www.mobilfix.ca) will take on a new national role at Mobile Klinik. He said: “Joining forces with Mobile Klinik gives us access to growth capital, experienced leadership, and an opportunity for our team to join the most professional smartphone repair company in Canada.”
mobilFIX and Dr. Mobile, established in 2013, operate two locations each in West Edmonton Mall. mobilFIX operates another three locations in the Edmonton area. All seven current locations will remain open to serve customers as they transition to the Mobile Klinik brand. The other two locations will open shortly as Mobile Klinik.
Mobile Klinik offers dedicated professional smartphone and tablet repair, most times in less than 60 minutes. Expert technicians offer immediate, on-site diagnosis and quote to repair a broken smartphone or tablet with premium quality parts and a lifetime warranty on parts and labour.
Mobile Klinik’s concept of while you wait professional smartphone repair was introduced to Canada by four Canadian wireless and retail industry leaders: Rob Bruce, former President, Rogers Communications; Ken Campbell, former CEO, WIND Mobile; and Alain Adam and Naaman Zorub, entrepreneurs who operate a number of wireless retail stores and other businesses in Ottawa and Gatineau. Since opening the first store in Ottawa in September 2015, and including today’s announced acquisition, Mobile Klinik operates 20 locations in major shopping malls and other high-traffic retail locations in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. More locations will open soon.
South Korean conglomerate Samsung have announced that its voice-based assistant entitled ‘Bixby’ is now available for Galaxy S8 users in over 200 countries worldwide following its release in the US last month.
The world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer had launched Bixby domestically and in the US, but now voice-assistant technology is available in countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Samsung developed the feature in an attempt to catch-up with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Bixby currently only supports English and Korean, and issued a statement highlighting the fact that not all accents, dialects and expressions will be recognized. It stressed that it will take time for Bixby to adapt and understand regional dialects.
The statement read, “Natural language understanding allows Bixby to continuously improve its ability to interpret regional dialects. But since Bixby learns more frequently used command terms more quickly, it will take more time for Bixby to fully understand regional dialects that are used less frequently.”
The electronics colossus has revealed that Bixby’s features include Quick Commands which allows users to create a custom voice command to use instead of a sequence of one or more demands. In addition to this, Samsung’s voice-assistant can also grasp the understanding of cross-application commands and features deep learning technology which can improve over a period of time which can then recognize personal preferences and ways of talking.
The statement added that when an application becomes Bixby-enabled, the platform will support every task the application is capable of performing using voice, touch or text. EVP and Head of Research and Development at Samsung Electronics mobile, Injong Rhee has predicted that the emergence and evolution of Bixby will lead to a more seamless connection for users across a range of devices.
Rhee said, “The expansion of Bixby’s voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality. In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalised interactions and seamless connections across more devices.”
It has also been disclosed that Samsung is intending on expanding Bixby’s voice capabilities to additional countries, languages, devices, features and third-party applications. Samsung first unveiled its voice-assistant back in March, but it suffered some teething problems when the launch of the English version of the product was delayed. It then targeted a launch date in May, but that was pushed back to the end of June, before Bixby was eventually launched in the US in July.
However, it now places Samsung amongst the ever-competitive AI voice-assistant market and analysts are predicting Bixby to be a biggest success for the South Korean colossus.
Canadian telco TELUS and Nuage Networks from Nokia have joined forces to launch TELUS Network as a Service (NaaS), a new software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution that enables businesses to virtually build, manage and cloud-optimize their networks quickly, easily and cost-effectively through a flexible self-serve platform.
For Canadian businesses, establishing or expanding a network, or changing its configuration, can be a complex, expensive and time-consuming process. In fact, according to IDC Analyst Connection, 80 percent of Canadian organizations agree that simplifying management of their networks would be a significant business benefit.
At a time where IT teams and budgets are already stretched thin, a new network initiative can divert IT resources and focus from strategic projects that drive growth and profitability, claims TELUS.
“Businesses looking to grow can be challenged by lengthy lead times and the complex IT required to build or change a network,” said Navin Arora, Senior Vice-President of Business Solutions at TELUS.
“TELUS Network as a Service is a game-changer for Canadian businesses, helping them optimize their IT and reduce costs. Our cloud-based integrated connectivity platform is fast, easy to install and has self-serve capabilities; making it convenient for businesses looking for managed services.”
TELUS NaaS can reduce network deployment time by up to 80 percent, and provides full line of sight to network performance data. Businesses can enjoy cloud-optimization through improved network performance and customizable policies that ensure mission-critical traffic, like VoIP, is prioritized over other types of traffic.
Robust firewalls along with a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee and automatic wireless LTE backup in the event the primary connection fails ensures data is safe and protected to prevent costly system downtime.
The solution can be installed over any TELUS Internet solution and those of most other providers, making it available to businesses across Canada.
“TELUS is seizing the benefits of SD-WAN technology and the greater automation and flexibility it brings to its business customers,” said Nuage Networks from Nokia founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sunil Khandekar. “Our technology provides a flexible and open SD-WAN infrastructure that can serve as a foundation for TELUS’ next-generation WAN offerings.”
Australia is introducing a 10 percent goods and services tax (GST) for the streaming service Netflix which will come into effect from July 1. It’s the first time such a tax will be applied to digital products and services purchased in Australia from overseas companies.
Netflix confirmed to The New Daily in May that it would be adding the charge. A spokesperson said: “We collect and remit tax wherever we are legally obligated to do so.” The company hasn’t specified; however, whether its prices will by exactly 10 percent, or if it will absorb some of the cost by reducing subscription fees.
The streaming service had almost 2.3 million household subscriptions in Australia, according to an estimate by Roy Morgan Research in January. In February, Nielsen put the number higher at 2.8 million.
Australia had a loophole that meant companies did not have to collect GST on services and digital products exported into the country. The new law will close this gap, and also help companies like Stan, an Australia streaming service, compete with US giants like Netflix.
“It ensures Australian businesses selling digital products and services are not disadvantaged relative to overseas businesses that sell equivalent products in Australia,” said Treasurer Scott Morrison addressing Parliament when the bill was first introduced.
The new tax won’t push up the price of Netflix alone, because from July 1, the 10 percent GST will be extended to all products, including smartphone apps, song downloads, podcasts, e-books and games purchased by Australians from overseas. The tax will also apply to imported services, such as consultancy and professional services performed offshore.
Similar measures have been introduced in the European Union, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, Taiwan and South Africa. In fact, the legislation Australia has introduced is in line with taxation guidelines set by the OECD, an economic think-tank for the world’s wealthiest nations. The new Australian tax could generate $350 million over four years from July 2017, which would be shared between the states and territories.
A similar tax was rejected by Canada recently. To protect the country’s struggling media industry, a 5 percent levy on high-speed internet services was proposed by a parliamentary committee. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “We’re not going to be raising taxes on the middle class through an internet broadband tax. That is not an idea we are taking on.”
The Canadian heritage minister rejected a recommendation to introduce a new five percent tax on high-speed internet services in the country on June 15, just shortly after the proposed tax was made public by a parliamentary committee.
Canadian politician Melanie Joly told Global news that “there are no plans for a new tax” on high-speed internet services such as Netflix, Apple Music and Crave. Joly added that the Canadian government is committed to reducing taxes, not increasing them. The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Joly’s words at a stop in Montreal.
The Canadian House of Commons initially released the tax recommendation report with 20 recommendations aimed at improving Canada’s slowing media industry and help it adapt to the ever-changing landscape. One of the suggestions was applying a five percent tax to internet services, which is already applied to broadcasters.
The goal of implementing the tax, according to the committee, was to lift up the industry and force it to adapt to technological changes and evolving consumer habits. Committee chair and Liberal MP Hedy Fry said, “At the moment, as you well know, there is a five percent levy on broadcast media in order to be able to help them bring [in] Canadian content.”
Fry added, “We found that this was a risk that they would go into streaming and escape the usual five percent tax… so we’re suggesting that the five percent levy be expanded to include streaming.”
But the proposal was strongly condemned by the Conservative members of the committee, who said the tax would have added hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues to the Canadian Media Fund, which already gets a levy on cable bills to finance the production of Canadian content.
Other recommendations by the committee include requiring the publicly funded CBC to get rid of advertizing on its digital platforms, which would allow media companies to deduct taxes on digital advertizing on Canadian-owned platforms and a tax credit for print outlets for a portion of their digital investments.
“Change brings disruption,” said Conservative MP Peter Van Loan, whose party rejects any increased government involvement in the media and adding more taxes. “In our view, higher taxes and government control of the news is not the answer to the problem.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation also spoke out in favor of the rejection of the new tax proposal. Federal director Aaron Wudrick said, “A new internet tax is a terrible idea, and would make the internet less affordable for Canadians.” Wudrick added, “Even worse would be using the revenue to create a new corporate welfare slush fund for the government to subsidize their favorite media outlets.”