Shaw decides to focus on core business and will “slow our wireless build activities”

Ian Hardy

April 13, 2011 10:31am


Calgary-based Shaw has had a challenging time getting their wireless network up and running. They purchased $189 million worth of spectrum during the 2008 wireless auction for 18 licenses in Western Canada and Northern Ontario. The original plan was to launch their wireless service in “late 2011″, then their VP of wireless departed the company and the launch was pushed back to “early in calendar year 2012″.

Today, unfortunately, Shaw announced their Q2 Financial and Operating Results with Chief Executive Officer Brad Shaw giving no insight into a launch date. Actually Shaw said the whole plan is to “slow our wireless build activities”… confirming a post we wrote back in January that the Vancouver and Edmonton network build-out was placed on hold. Certainly not good for Shaw but we’re sure TELUS and the other carriers like this news.

Brad Shaw stated that “With the rapid development of wireless technology, including long-term evolution (“LTE”) options, and the dynamics within the wireless industry evolving at a swift pace, we are currently evaluating technology and strategic alternatives with respect to our wireless initiatives. We plan to slow our wireless build activities as we carefully consider all options in advance of the launch of a wireless service. We continue to focus heavily on the strength of our core business and intend to make important investments in new technology platforms, digital reclamation and broadband capacity in order to ensure we maintain our technological leadership. We are building Shaw for the future and are closely monitoring the business and regulatory environment. We are flexible and will continue to meet challenges and seize opportunities in this dynamic environment.”

Source: MarketWire

  • Hub

    Can you spell “spectrum hoarding”?

    That’s what happen when they spend 1B$ on something they shouldn’t even be allowed to own: content.

  • Shawty

    Shaw, Roger’s little brother was a mentally retarded boy with hopes of copying everything his older brother did. This plan has somehow shown merit….until now. Roger decided to lock Shaw in his room with nothing more than some cables, a tv, and a remote and there Shaw sat…broken hearted and foolish for forgetting about his only friend, the cables.

  • zorxd

    In 2012 Shaw is better to go straight to LTE

    • Salem

      Somehow I do not think that will happen right away. It seems that bit more then they could chew

    • Jack

      You really think that is a great idea to go to LTE… I think that Shaw would be challenged to compete on price as LTE devices are all over $500 for 1H 2012 from all OEM’s and there is very limited selection until Q4 ’12. Wouldn’t having an HSPA backbone allow them to enter the market and learn while maintaining a degree of freedom to pursue multiple customer segments? Not everyone is a device wank like us ;-)

    • Jack

      Also there is no voice solution for LTE pureplay networks until about 4Q ’12 as VoLTE is only in proof of concept right now as shown by VZW at MWC in Barcelona. Currently, all providers use CSFB as a solution falling back to their Voice network either GSM or CDMA depending on the carrier. So if they do go straight to LTE devices will be expensive and may be data only. It will be tough to sell phones to a market segment that is that small. Maybe we will all use Skype by then but the call quality is poor on VOIP services over wireless.

  • pr0cs

    Too bad, more competition is a good thing… no matter how much you dislike Shaw.

  • Sean

    Hmmm out soon and basic 3G
    Out in a year or two with LTE … \

    Personally I would choose LTE and waiting

  • Dorbit

    With the T-Mobile, AT&T merger, the future use of AWS spectrum is somewhat up in the air. Based on the price plans that the new players are acquiring customers at, the business models don’t make sense. No doubt Shaw is talking to cash starved Wind & Mobilicity and trying to figure out their next move. Based on their $2 billion buyout of CanWest, we know they’re not shy about big dollar, high risk deals.

  • Don’t need to know

    They are using all their funds to pay for Jim Shaw’s retirement package so there’s none left to invest in the business.

    • Jim R

      When you invest in non-voting shares of a company, you shouldn’t be surprised when the very few who have the voting shares don’t act in your best interest.

  • Don’t need to know

    That’s why I haven’t invested in Shaw

  • abc123

    I’m not surprised that Shaw is putting their wireless plans on hold. They can’t even get their television services on par with Optik. Their STB’s are ancient and slow. They do not support record once, watch anywhere. They do not have remote recording. No caller id display on the tv screen, no facebook integration. THEY ARE ANCIENT compared to Optik. And they continue to raise prices!

    The only advantage I can see is that Shaw is not bandwidth starved with their coax as Optik is with everything going through the phone line.

    If Telus were able to use the coax line and hence remove the bandwidth limitations, Shaw would be out of business within months.

    Some heads need to roll at Shaw if they want to get their services on par with their competitors. I sure hope their wireless division is not headed by a bunch of i****s.

    • firefight16

      At Least I can watch HD tv on a few TV’s and download large files at the same time without taking a hit on speed unlike OPTIC, and Shaw is Canadian, unlike Telus which is more of an offshore company now!

    • Larry

      Abc 123 Telus Optic(Internet protocol TV) is far from perfect my friend moved into a new condo that was wired for Telus but not Optic.Shaw works as long as you got a cable line both standard cable or digatil HDTV.My Internet is running 19mps down 1meg up yet I pay for 15mps with Shaw.I also have home phone threw Shaw for about a year know with no problems.Telus also only allows one PVR per household.Another friend it took Telus three days to wire his townhouse Telus gave him a mounth free for the hassle.A security guard I deal with has Optic in nw Calgary his TV keeps freezing,Told me when his contract runs out he is switching to Shaw.

  • Rich

    Shaw has such a major opportunity, especially out west, to offer bundled services and discounts with their other products. Delaying this just gives WIND / Mob / the Big 3, time to lock people in. Everyone knows it’s easier to retain customers than acquire them.

  • firefight16

    I think Shaw is seeing how hard it has been for Wind and Mobilicity to get going in the big cities that they are holding back, maybe they will buy out the two if they fail, I hope that they, Wind and Mobilicity don’t fail, but I see it has been hard for them to expand and offer enough coverage in the Vancouver market for most of us to switch to them.

  • TNSF

    If Shaw wasn’t family owned I would say they just became an acquisition target. Anybody interested in buying a cable company that doesn’t know how to compete?

    • Alpha Psi

      Why would any sane business person want to buy a company with $147,000,000 in unrecorded pension liability? That’s just for the 2 older Shaws who contribute an amazing $0 towards that pension. With more Shaw Bros (c) coming on board the business, you might as well give away the entire revenue stream to the family instead of the shareholders.

  • aka

    Kinda wonder if the recent clearne+ leak made them rethink their wireless strategy?