Shaw hasn’t slowed down their wireless plans… they’ve come to a “complete halt”

Ian Hardy

April 15, 2011 5:19pm


Earlier this week Shaw reported their Q2 financial and operating results and unfortunately their wireless business had another setback. Shaw purchased a massive amount of spectrum in Western Canada and Norther Ontario to the tune of $189 million for 18 licenses. Plans to officially launch were scheduled for “late 2010″, then was pushed back to early 2011. This week Shaw executives stated they’ll “slow our wireless build activities” to ” focus heavily on the strength of our core business”.

We let you know in January that the Vancouver and Edmonton network build-out stopped (confirmed earlier this week to be true) and now it seems the same is ringing true for their Calgary build out. Although Shaw said they’ll “slow” their wireless activities we are now hearing that an internal memo was sent to employees that a “complete halt” to its Calgary wireless build out has happened, along with acquiring any new cell sites. Apparently getting into the wireless game is a bit tougher than expected. Here’s something else we are hearing too: Shaw may be in talks with one of the other new/existing wireless carrier to merge or take over (possibly with Mobilicity or Rogers, but that’s unconfirmed).

Very interesting development.
More soon.

(Thanks tipster!)

  • Sid

    Is everyone in the executive suite at Shaw falling over drunk? Shaw hasn’t built anything from scratch in a decade, what made them think they could build a brand new cell phone network? Acquisition is the only way for Shaw to get into the game and it sure seems like Wind could use some Canadian money.

  • Harry

    MObilicity FTW!

  • Hub

    Maybe they should have thought before buying Global…. But I digress.

    How about spectrum hoarding? RoBeLus have been doing that for a why, and Videotron did in Quebec.

  • emprah

    Shaw + Mobilicity would be epic. DO ITTT

  • emprah

    “Acquisition is the only way for Shaw to get into the game and it sure seems like Wind could use some Canadian money.”

    Implying that wind(lol) was an independent Canadian company. Wind is dead. gg

  • espink

    I wonder if buying Mobi would be cheaper than building your own network. It would be easier. If they do buy Mobi, I hope they expand Mobi’s coverage. I currently get Wind coverage, which is great since I get $35 unlimited everything, but seeing Mobi expand to the outer regions of Edmonton would be nice too.

    • A

      its all about the spectrum, in order to be a national player you need national spectrum which Shaw doesn’t have. Deploying a network is costly yes, but acquiring spectrum outside of an auction is impossible. Wind and Mobilicity has spectrum, which is where the value is, that is why Telus bought ClearNet and why Rogers bought Fido…

  • Jim R

    “complete halt” – the only thing actually slower than glacial, which is how fast Shaw has been moving up to now.

  • nancy

    hey hey wait….they are launching network on 4G…this is why they have halted thier current network deployment and they are trying to acquire 4G equipment now..

  • Highdefiniasian

    Dont really know why everyone is so gung ho on Shaw launching wireless. Shaw is like Videotron which is like ROBELLUS. There will not be a huge discount. Shaw is one of the big players. They have ARPU’s to maintain and already have a leg up over the new entrants… in that they have an established wireline business.

    The new entrants are offering cut throat pricing because they need to subscribers to get cash flow. Shaw already has a cash flow and are more like the big 3 where they dont want to cannibilize wireline revenues (read: shaw home phone) for unlimited wireless.

    Shaw will compete no doubt.. but will NOT be as aggressive as the new entrants in any way shape or form. Just look at their business model and how they abuse their dominant cable monopoly in the West.

    Wake up people.

    • Sid

      Shaw absolutely abuses their monopoly power, but when you compare them to the practices of Rogers and Bell, Shaw looks pretty good. Considering my only real choices for cell phone providers are Rogers and MTS, Mobilicity doesn’t have spectrum here and Wind is in some serious s**t, I’d like to have another option.

  • chall2k5

    i think its still too early to see consolidation

  • TNSF

    Either Shaw is planning to acquire a wireless company, or Shaw is planning to sell themselvs and wants to reduce overlap.

  • Logic

    Make no mistake people!!! Shaw had big plans in joining the Big 3 in the rape and pillage of Canada with ridiculously overpriced Mobile Services. But with Wind and Mobilicity coming in with real deals for Canadians, Shaw realized the Rape and Pillage plan is dead. Hence no rush to get in on the game. It’s that simple. Really. Do you people honestly think Shaw would have been any different than the Big 3. Look at their current services with Cable and Internet. Overpriced and under serviced. If Canadians are not running to Wind or Mobilicity, then you deserve to continue grabbing your ankles.

  • gun26

    The most plausible point in this story is that Shaw has completely stopped their own network buildout. It would be extremely short-sighted of them not to go wireless to keep up with their hated rivals at Telus, so that would seem to indicate they’re fairly sure they will acquire someone else instead – someone who has already built a network out.

  • Howardsucks

    This is awesome to TELUS Shareholders! TELUS is also kicking Shaw’s butt with their TELUS Optik TV!

    Get that money TELUS!!!

  • shogun

    what would you make of public mobile getting in on this merger?

  • Harry

    They will definitely purchase wind because they need the Canadian money and they share the same spectrum using aws hspa+ but this whole story of waiting for LTE seems like an excuse if you ask me seeing how out of the new entrants only wind is testing LTE It’s the only logical purchase those if you who said wind isn’t the next fido time to take the foot out of your mouth

  • Shogun

    “Shaw may be in talks with one of the other new wireless entrants to merge or take over (possibly with Mobilicity, but that’s unconfirmed”

    after rereading that quote up there I like part of what this article says as it could be possible that they could merge with shaw or buy spectrum from shaw…

    and I really would prefer if Mobilicity only gets to takeover Shaw’s spectrum rather than a merger with Shaw and Wind mobile or Shaw and Mobilicity merger and I have my reasons for not supporting Wind when it comes to having the rest of the spectrum that do not have anything to do with foreign ownership or anything against the owners of orascom.

  • Mo s

    They actually thought they’d have my money if they started a wireless business? After horrible overcharges and rip offs on their TV and internet services I’d never go back to them no matter what.

  • Pablo

    Shaw sucks, currently they’re in panic mode as there losing their grip on their core services of cable tv and broadband internet. Is it really profitable for Shaw to build a wireless network from scratch in such a competitive market? Canada’s population isn’t really big enough for Shaw to make any serious profit in wireless.

  • Brent Rawlings

    If they can’t offer unlimited internet on local broadband, don’t expect unlimited mobile data to compete with Wind

  • sean

    I currently have shaw for TV, broadband, and home phone, and I really like them. Can’t wait for Shaw’s wireless launch.

    BTW Just got the broadband 50 upgrade yesterday … smoking fast.