Shaw focusing on Calgary… puts Vancouver and Edmonton network build-out on hold

Ian Hardy

January 18, 2011 10:24am

Last week Shaw unfortunately announced their wireless network launch has been pushed back from the tentative date of “late 2011” to “early in calendar year 2012”. During the 2008 Wireless Spectrum Auction Shaw invested over $189 million for 18 licenses that are mainly based in Western Canada and some in Northern Ontario (you can check their licenses here) .

The official statement from CEO Brad Shaw stated that “With the rapid evolution of wireless technology and changing market conditions, we believe it is best to take a disciplined approach to our wireless rollout to ensure we deliver an exceptional customer experience. Accordingly, during 2011 we plan to invest approximately $150 – $200 million on this initiative and now expect to launch these services in our first major market early in calendar year 2012, approximately 3 months later than previously anticipated.”

We’ve been tipped that Shaw’s first major market will be Calgary (their head office is located there). More importantly and this will be good news for their competition is that a memo went out internally that stated their Vancouver & Edmonton network build-outs have been 100% put on hold and that no further work will be done (such as obtaining and building cell sites) until the end of August 2011, which is the end of Shaw’s fiscal year.

So it’s looking like an early 2012 wireless showdown is brewing in Calgary… possibly hotter than what we’re currently seeing in Quebec.

We’ll have more info soon.

  • elchavodellethbridge

    Competition is good! I just wish they would expand someday south of Cowtown. Tough with only 3 carriers, and just a few hours away so much choice and competition.

  • TNSF

    I used to think Shaw was well positioned to have a big impact on the Western market. The fundamentals haven’t changed, but unfortunately Shaw’s execution has been a disaster.

    For their sake I hope they have something up their sleeve… maybe a plan to acquire Wind?

  • espink

    Good for Calgary. I wonder what their roaming structure will look like. I hope they make it to Edmonton soon. I’ve always had great service from Shaw.

  • Joe

    Shaw is in danger of forfeiting their spectrum if they don’t launch in every licensed area by 2013.

  • aviking

    Well thats beyond lame.

    I had high hopes for shaw now it appears they are just another small fish in a very large ocean

  • zorxd

    I hope they launch with LTE instead of UMTS/HSPA.

  • Anti-Robellus

    I wish shaw can come into ontario.

  • Larry

    Shaw needs to get there act together like fast.The first problem was there original delay and has gotten worse since.In 1992 when I got my first cellphone coverage was the big thing,I beleave it still is.

  • roach_779

    Dealing with their home service help is a nightmare. You wait about an hour just to talk to a human person, booking visit is on their own term…One problem I had is I had to call them 3X to finally get someone to come in. Shaw better have good deal as similar deals is not enough for me to change and I would wait (good thing I still got 2 years on current contract)to see their quality of service.

  • D

    That’s untrue, roach. Contact Shaw and you’ll be connected to an agent in under a few minutes 90% of the time. If a service call is permitted it’ll be offered the instant you exhaust whatever troubleshooting steps are appropriate – and there are only a few things that you can do with most Digital Pone challenges.

    We also have emergency technicians on reserve if your problem is one that results in a complete loss of dialtone. We take care of our customers at Shaw, I can guarantee that. If you have had a poor experience, it was likely due to a disgruntled employee or a new employee, which can occur when you have over 10,000 employees.

    It’s a shame to learn that wireless has been kicked back. At least when it arrives, it will be a very strong product. I don’t know anymore than what’s told to investors but the higher ups are a lot more eager than it seems in all the media relations. In fact, it looks quite dismal from the other site which sends lots of mixed signals.

    • Bolt

      I spend easily over 45mins on hold with Shaw each time I call. I even tried to buy service from them and still waited on the phone for an hour before I hung up

  • zippy

    Maybe it was vendor equipment troubles?