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Shaw on wireless launch: “We’ll soon make an announcement, I think, over the next month”


During the 2008 AWS spectrum auction Calgary-based Shaw spent $189 million to purchase 18 licenses in Western Canada and Norther Ontario. Their original goal was to launch wireless late 2010, then was pushed back to early 2011 and eventually put on hold to “focus heavily on the strength of our core business”. Shaw has been MIA on the issue recently, rumours are going around that they will partner with Rogers for a shared LTE network launch.

At the CRTC’s vertical integration hearings in Ottawa yesterday CEO Brad Shaw spoke with reporters and said “We’re in certain conversations, strategically, looking at options. We’re certainly looking at LTE 4G as where technology is going but we’re still in that process… We’ll soon make an announcement, I think, over the next month”. As to seeing them bring another choice in wireless in 2012, Shaw stated that “It all depends on how we get all the pieces together and all our discussions on that”.

Source: Cartt

  • Adam

    Bring on Shaw. Although they’ll be a small player in the wireless business, Partnered with Rogers they could definitely speed up the LTE rollouts.

    Need some more options in Northwestern Ontario!

  • sookster54

    Shaw charges a fortune for cable with all their BS “packages” and their internet service aren’t really that cheap either, I wonder how much they’ll charge for this service?

    • Adam

      Probably on par with what Big-3 charge.

      Shaw will be a small wireless company at first with a big-3 attitude (not sure if that’s a good thing).

      Unfortunately, they use the AWS spectrum for 3G, so that’s useless for me. Once they get LTE, lets talk.

  • chall2k5

    aah delay to get handsets compatible with Big three….good move Shaw

  • espink

    I would love if Shaw got into the wireless game. Their customer service is amazing. But this is taking a long time.

    Can the CRTC take back the wireless spectrum shaw bought and resell it after a period of time of inactivity?
    I’m sure if this is the case, shaw would get something like 10 years to do something, but pass on the wealth if you are not going to use it.

  • CADDMan

    Before the appeals court decision was announced, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Shaw swooped in to pick up the pieces if the decision had gone against Wind Mobile, with their existing licenses in BC & Alberta (Southern Ontario would have been left since Shaw has no licenses there) Shaw could have simply taken over those portions of the network. However, now that Wind has been legitimized (at least for the time being) the only other new carrier they could work with is Mobilicity, and their network is wholly inadequate for the kind of coverage Shaw is interested in.

    A Shaw rebranding of the existing Rogers network is certainly a possibility (like Virgin Mobile on the Bell network). Another possibility is a Bell/Telus type partnership between Shaw & Rogers where Shaw puts in a bunch of money to help build-out Rogers’ LTE expansion and in exchange for that they get a seamless roaming agreement (unlike Wind & Mobilicity’s we’re too cheap negotiated hard handoff agreement).

    • Adam

      Well they mentioned partnering with Rogers for LTE, but I want to know waht they’ll do about 3G. they can’t be a purely LTE company, there’s not enough market for that is there?

      If they partnered with Rogers, allow free roaming on Rogers HSPA network, Shaw can build up LTE in the western areas, and even some of the smaller Markets like NW Ontario, Winnipeg, etc. Rogers can upgrade the East half of Canada, could be a good partnership.

  • Shaun

    Good service, but you might end up with a Zach Morris cell phone.

  • DS

    I can’t beleive shaw still hasn’t got their s**t together. It’s laughable really.

    • Adam

      What do you expect them to do really?

      They have a small chunk of the 1700Mhz band. Do they do what Wind/Mobi did and have service in select few regions, but charge Big-3 prices?

      No. They are a huge company, and having a small wireless service does not seem like a smart move for them.

      Waiting for LTE is exactly what they needed to do. Rogers is using 1700Mhz for LTE, which is what Shaw has. THey can work together to speed up the LTE rollout, get it national as quickly as possible. Work out a roaming agreement with Rogers, and they are instantly a player.

      Think about it. They bought licenses for Western Canada and Northern Ontario. Currently, the only real player in Northern Ontario is TBayTel. Adding a competing service that uses AWS that can’t roam freely on other networks would die there. They however seem to be buying licenses for gaps in the current network.

      Only issue is, how far will Rogers be willing to go. If they give Shaw customers access to their network, Shaw instantly becomes a big competitor. Big-3 turns into Big-4 within 5-10 years. Perhaps a Shaw/Rogers partnership much like Bell/Telus has? Use the same network, but operate independently.

      You gotta think they have a plan though, you don’t just sit around twiddling your thumbs for a few years while everyone passes you buy.

  • abc123

    Partnered with Rogers, you can be sure that prices will not be competitive. Rogers will make sure of that.

    But then again, if Rogers wanted to kill competition without harming their own brand, they could use Shaw as a puppet to destroy the new guys like Wind and Mobilicity. then we would have the big 4… nothing like 4 companies controlling phone, internet, cable, wireless, and media. Wow! Big Brother 4.

    • Adam

      Keep in mind, Shaw phone, internet, tv is only available in western markets, Rogers only in eastern. They’re not really big competitors as it is, Partnering for wireless could be quite useful.

      Think of it like this. Shaw is a western company, based in Alberta, they’re available as far east as Thunder Bay. If you lived in Toronto, you wouldn’t likely be able to buy a Shaw phone, or be a Shaw customer, you’d be a Rogers customer, but use Shaws network if you ever went west.

      I’d say that’s a good deal if they can work it. Shaw only advertises and sells in their existing markets, Rogers has exclusive rights to the Eastern (well, exclusive to the two of them, obviously Bell/Telus are there) markets, in return, Shaw gets to roam on Rogers HSPA network and they share costs of LTE rollouts.

    • abc123

      Yeah. Shaw only available out west and Rogers only available in the East. How convenient for them!

    • Jay

      @Adam: What do you mean Shaw is only available in “Western Markets”? I’m in Northern Ontario, like a 6 hour drive from Toronto, and I’ve got full Shaw service. That’s hardly Western.

  • Adam

    Plus, I don’t think Rogers is concerned with Wind/MObi.

    Rogers has over 9 million customers. Wind has 300,000, Mobi less than that.

    In total, the big-3 have over 24 million customers, and there’s only 26 million wireless subscribers in Canada. That leaves 2 million, or under 8% of the userbase split between Wind, Mobilicity, Videotron, Public Mobile, TBaytel, Sasktel, DMTS and MTS(I’m probably forgetting a few very tiny companies). I’d say they are not very worried.

    It’s like a fly in your house. If you have the opportunity to kill it, you will, but you’re not going to spend significant amount of time hunting down the fly to squash.

  • abc123

    Just wanted to add that I can almost guarantee that Shaw will not be competitive. They just rolled out a new system for cable TV that competes with the Optik system from telus. Guess how much the hardware costs? For a household with 3 TV’s, it would cost almost $1000 for 3 boxes. Yep… that’s no joke.

  • Big 3

    If Shaw partners with Rogers then there won’t be any differences in prices and Rogers will then have access to the New Entrant’s frequencies

    • Adam

      Shaw and Rogers own the rights to the same frequency, 1700 mhz. That is what Rogers is planning to roll out LTE with, and it only makes sense at this point for Shaw to wait for LTE, and roll that out so there is consistency.

      For a new entrant, what would make sense, tell people you can ONLY use our small, probably unstable network, or you have access to a nation-wide network with our devices.

      The latter methinks.

      If they can work out a roaming agreement for the HSPA network, that is in their best interests.

    • Big 3

      though they do have nationwide coverage, you are still roaming on their network when you are out of your local area since all their plans are by local minutes. And it’s cheaper to roam in Canada with New Entrants than with the Big 3 themselves.

    • Adam

      What?!

      You know not of what you speak.

      “Roaming” ONLY applies when you are on a different carriers network. With Rogers, the ONLY Way to roam would be if you somehow found your way on Bell or Telus’ network.

      If you are out of your local calling area, with the big-3, your physical location becomes your local area. Local calls are free (still use minutes, but no long distance). Calling out of that area, even to your home network is long distance.

      Example, if I’m from Toronto, and travel to Calgary, Calgary becomes my local network. Calls I make to Calgary are NOT long distance, and I most certainly do not pay roaming.

  • Sub-Joker

    Shaw is gonna be a Videotron that is located in the west.

  • Wayne

    To Adam: Shaw goes as far east as Hamilton. Although I don’t know if they can offer wireless there.

  • tinydancer

    Industry insiders have common knowledge that Mobilicity has also stopped all build, borrowed significant cash flow to retire primarily cumbersome debt, coupled with downsizing their Executive Staff and a with projected 30% reduction in overall staffing level underway; they will have significantly improved their operating expenditures for a positioned sale. Given their AWS compatibilities and with hardware easily retrofitted to support LTE,it would not preclude Shaw buying out Mobilicity primarily for their spectrum and partnering with Rogers.

    • FailBot

      Nail..on..the..head…

      You sir, are a prophet!

  • Jay

    I’m an avid Shaw user, when it comes to my home TV and Internet anyway. They’re the best (in my area). However, with the raping I get from their high prices already I have no doubt that they will follow suit with their cell phones. Thus I’ll be sticking with my curent company.

  • Larry

    Abc 123 Telus is giving away $1000 worth of equipment when you sine a 3yr agreement for Optic TV service Read the fine print.Shaw doesn’t use contracts.Shaw has service in Ontario,A Shaw Rogers agreement would benefit bouth companeys since Rogers service is spread quight thin.I agree it could speedup the rollout of LTE.

    • abc123

      Telus does not give $1000 worth of equipment when you sign a 3 year.

      First of all, I have telus Optik. I have no contract. I did not pay $1000. Here are the facts:

      1. Futureshop had a sale on the Optik HD boxes (non pvr) for $99 each with $50 programming credit. I bought 2.

      2. My HD-PVR is rented at $15/month. You can buy it for $250. I did not buy it because if the hard drive fails, you are responsible for fixing/replacing it. On a rented box, if the HD fails, you call Telus, and they replace it for free.

      On the contract issue:
      1. If you want the HD-PVR for free, you sign a 3 year
      2. If you want 2 HD Boxes for free, you sign a 2 year.

      You are not obligated to sign any contract if you own or decide to rent all your hardware. the contract is simply there if you want free hardware.

      Again, I’m on Optik and I am not on contract. I have been with Telus for 3 months. This talk about telus forcing you into a contract is BS Shaw scare tactics because IMO Shaw cable is inferior to Telus when it comes to convenience and features. Shaw knows it and promotes this FUD. PQ is subjective so I will not comment on that other than to say that you would have to be seriously looking for flaws to notice any difference between the two.

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