Rogers signs agreement with Shaw to purchase their unused AWS spectrum

Ian Hardy

January 14, 2013 7:09pm


While most Canadian carriers are prepping for the big 700MHz spectrum auction this year, Rogers is tying up some loose ends that will potentially secure some additional coverage. In a press release tonight Shaw announced that they’ve signed an agreement that would give Rogers first right to “to secure an Option to purchase” their unused AWS spectrum licenses in 2014.

The release pegged the “purchase price of the option” at $50 million, but in the end the deal needs the approval of the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada. Rogers notes that this acquisition would maintain “its network leadership position” and “ensure our customers continue to enjoy the incredibly fast speeds and throughput they crave.” According to the release, “Shaw’s AWS spectrum holdings cover 188 million MHz POPs including 20 MHz across B.C., Alberta and Manitoba and 10 MHz in select B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario markets.”

There were other assets bundled into this agreement. The total package is worth approximately $700 million and includes Hamilton-based Mountain Cablevision, plus would also see Shaw pay Rogers $59 million for a 33% stake in TVtropolis.

Shaw stated that the proceeds will go towards “various strategic capital investments in its core business,” including building out their Wi-Fi network in Western Canada.

Source: MarketWire & CNW

  • iphoneee

    Does Shaw make iPhones?

    • Twosee

      RIP RIM!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

  • jackjia

    disgusted by rogers

  • John

    If rogers dosnt plan on using this spectrum then i think they should be blocked from buying it. Should put it up for auction

    • Hub

      I think that if Shaw does not plan to use the spectrum they should give it back. Not sell it to one that wasn’t entitled as it was set aside for “new entrant” in the auction.

  • Hub

    Rogers want to buy spectrum set aside for new entrants that Shaw bought but didn’t use. And buying Mountain Cable, I guess it is part of that non-compete agreement that Shaw broke when they bought the Hamilton cable co.

    Let’s see how the CRTC AND the competition bureau deal with that. But I don’t see it being delt properly.

    • CRTC

      Hi guys CRTC here.

      We won’t be regulating this purchase, a few rogers chairmen paid me a visit last week to let me know about the purchase- before they left they gave me and my colleagues a wonderful gift in the form of a cheque.

  • gjeff12

    To be honest, it would be kind of nice to get decent lte coverage out here in bc.

  • Sweet

    NOOOOOO !! Just the other day I remembered that Shaw had purchased AWS spectrum and was doing nothing with it, and I figured they should sell it to the new entrants, like Mobilicity, who has said publicly that they’ve just about saturated their amount of spectrum.

    What Hub said, is spot on. We should write the Competition Bureau to try to get them to block the deal.

  • JC

    Here’s the deal.

    The Shaw spectrum is right next to Rogers’ block. That means they get a contiguous band that’s now 10MHz more. To us that means even faster LTE coverage since that’s what Rogers is using their AWS spectrum for.

  • Brad

    It’s sad knowing that we could have had competition and now its handed over to the worst possible carrier.

  • Dan

    This was predictable as soon as Shaw announced that they weren’t going to use the spectrum. Shaw obviously wasn’t going to sell the spectrum to their arch-rival Telus (or Telus’s tower-sharing friends at Bell) so there was only ever going to be one buyer.

    Hopefully it was predictable to Industry Canada as well, so they have had plenty of time to prepare their response of a big fat “NO”. What an abuse of the “new entrants” spectrum auction.

  • Jon

    CRTC should invoke the “use it or lose it” rule and make Shaw give back the spectrum and put it up for auctioning. It’s only right.

    • bob

      Yeah, they would only have to “use” it to send permanent 1s or 0s.
      It’s hard to mesure effective use. I personaly consider that most TV channels are a waste of spectrum and that they should be auctioned too.

  • AWSguy

    This was spectrum set aside for “new entrants”. If this is allowed, what stops shaw from buying more spectrum for rogers for cheap?

  • bob

    This is the downside of setting spectrum aside in auctions.
    Spectrum was so cheap than companies like Shaw and Eastlink bought a lot and didn’t use it.
    In the end, companies like Rogers will get it anyways.

  • Jim R

    Arrrrrgh! Rogers is easily the most evil of the Big 3.

  • Silence.Alert

    UGH! Mountaincable went straight down the toilet when Shaw bought them. With Rogers in control, I’m jumping ship!

  • Cell Hell

    How can any company own something like a digital spectrum? Shouldn’t society as a whole own it?

    • TNSF

      Canadians own the spectrum. Carriers buy a license to use the spectrum.

  • DannyT

    If you’re going to use that stupid logic, then Mobilicity should not be given any new spectrum until they actually have enough towers in their present areas to call it a service and increase data speeds over ,25 which are a joke. I really have no idea how the CRTC permits these dick heads to operate and keep screwing the public.

  • TNSF

    BTW I think the article is wrong. Rogers has bought an option to buy the spectrum license. The $50 million appears to be an option, not the actual purchase price of the spectrum license should that purchase proceed. At least thats how I read the press release.

  • Mojo

    How would Rogers be able to use this spectrum? Aren’t their handsets running on a complete different network?

    • Piff

      Rogers uses the AWS spectrum for their LTE service. Where Wind and Mobi use it for making calls.

  • David

    Here’s another chance for CRTC to gain Canadians’ trust.

  • CDub

    So I JUST switched my internet over to Shaw from Primus and boom! Gobbled up by one of the big three. There’s no avoiding it – oligopolies rule the world.

    • gjeff12

      Shaw is one of the big three in home service. Out here it’s telus, shaw, and bell.

  • roman

    hoarders gonna hoard

  • Sweet

    So if Rogers pays Shaw to secure an option to purchase Shaw’s AWS spectrum holdings, does that mean that Shaw cannot sell the spectrum holdings to another carrier later on, before Rogers actually purchases those spectrum holdings ?

  • Mellowie

    I actually liked Shaw’s internet packages in Hamilton. Hoping Rogers’ doesn’t make them worse if they buy the cable company as well

    • Adam

      People, Rogers is not buying Shaw. They’re buying unused licenses. Learn to read people.

  • Mojo

    Shaw and Telus are the worse internet ISPs in BC. Their prices inccrease every year. I remember paying $20 a month for Shaw highspeed couple of years ago, now it’s about 65 and they increase prices without telling you. So I immediately switched to Novus when I moved to another neighbourhood and the price is 2/3rds and speed is the same if not faster, plus no modems required.

  • T1MB0T

    50 million!! wow thats more than wind made in profits in 3 years!!! ( right nuke ) Wait!!! Why didn’t tony buy it? Wind hs loads of money over 200,000,000 subs and a state of the art netwo… oh yeah sorry… all wind .

  • nuclearbroccoli

    Wind is not relevant to this T1MB0T. The spectrum was set aside for new entrants. If Shaw isn’t going to use it, it should either returned andor sold only to Wind, Mobilicity, Public Mobile, or another new entrant. That was what it was allocated for in the first place. Allowing the sale to Rogers defeats the entire purpose of setting aside spectrum in the forest place.

    • OgtheDim

      Asking him to look out from underneath the bridge?

  • nuclearbroccoli

    First place… Autocorrect…

    • chall2k5

      agreed

  • Ben

    What a joke of the entire Canadian wireless industry…. We are the telecom backwater of the world.

  • StEC

    Use it or lose it… we need to stop complaining on here and start complaining to the CRTC to make sure a stop is put to this! The CRTC is finally listening to the Canadian public but only if we make enough noise so lets do something about this now before it’s too late!

  • abc123

    I can’t think of a better way for Rogers to obtain spectrum that wasn’t available to them during the auction. Just get some chump like Shaw to buy it, then wait until the time limit expires, and buy it off them for a few million more than they paid. Rogers wins because they get the spectrum they couldn’t bid on, and Shaw wins because they made money for basically doing nothing.

    Don’t you just love how business works?

    THE SALE SHOULD BE BLOCKED. The spectrum is set aside for new entrants. So the new entrants SHOULD HAVE DIBS to buy it first. If Wind/Mobilicity/Videotron say “No Thanks”, then, and only then, should Rogers/Bell/Telus be able to buy it.

  • Kostas Kritsilas

    If Shaw has chosen not to deploy a cellular network, the license to use that spectrum should revert back to the Candadian Government. The Canadian Government should then re-auction the spectrum initially offering it to the new netrants, and if they are not interested then give the big 3 a chance to buy it. Any proceeds should be give back Shaw to cover their initial investment, and anything abouve that goes to the government.

    Probably never happen, knowing the way things work.

    Kostas

    • T1MB0T

      Kostas Nice name BTW well if i am not mistaken Shaw BOUGHT the spectrum in question. So why would they give it back? Will they get a refund? As far as it being a set aside.. well.. what if it was not? Blocks were set aside and could this have been part of the block that was open for auction and not a set aside? You and the rest of the no gag reflex club seem to have all the answers so please do tell us all.

      I heard that Shaw did offer it to wind but they did not have the money to buy it. I also heard that wind is in debt to the tune of over a billion bucks and growing. I also heard that Wind is not going to go LTE, Tony Jabroni said it, uncle swarie said it. And lets not forget the man that Runs Vimpelcom, you know the company that OWNS globalive and orascom. he said no LTE.. could it be that the windies are talking out their love tunnels.. Johnn sit down please! Warren and his rectum romancing pals nuke and egg nog need to stop sniffing the glue and realize wind has done you all like a 5 dollar hooker.. nasty dirty.

  • Kanye’s sock

    its weird, its almost like most of you guys have no idea what you’re talking about.

    strange.

  • T1MB0T

    we have dog the dim and chalk crying and the leader of the pack nuke our favorite box boy at loblaws.. How is wind going to buy anything you fools? They gots no money! oh and no LTE, no customer service no real network no hope and they are for sale again. WHO are you twinks to tell shaw who they may or may not sell it to. How do you know that they did not offer it to wind and they said no? well?

    How can you be sure that Wind was not offered the spectrum first? well? money is money. I mean wind is only in debt a billion or so. why so quiet boys?

  • Amy

    This reminds me of a game I use to play when I was a kid, It’s called MONOPOLY !

    • Prince of Bahrain

      FAT AMY!!! U FUKIN FAT ASS!

  • Falco

    I couldn’t care less about who buys what from whom. I’ve been with Fido for six years. Great plans, rates and SERVICE. I think they are the fourth largest carrrier now. People complain about their limited device select. but having megabucks tied up in inventory allows them to keep their rates reasonable while still providing superior service. I have never understood why anyone would go to the new entrants. If you consider what they charge for very limited coverage areas relative to what the others charge for broad coverage, then you are getting a pretty bad deal. And at those rates, how can they possibly expand and maintain the networks required to be truly competitive without incurring massive debt. What do you think will be the ultimate result? I often wonder what these new guys had in mind when they started up. Did they realize what they were up against with Bell, Rogers, and Telus already well entrenched with their huge coverage areas. I want SERVICE and am willing to pay a fair buck for it and that’s basically what Fido gives me.

  • Ratawn

    Interesting. I wonder if my monthly bill will eventually go up in price.

  • CADDMan71

    I’m curious to know if anyone has put in a bid to buy any of Shaw’s built (although many are half-built) cell sites that have been collecting dust since they discontinued their network build-out in March 2011?