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.