Shaw Communications set to purchase Wind Mobile for $1.6 billion


  • Dan man

    tbh i don’t know how i feel about this… a big 4 would not be much better than a big 3.

    • Spencer Navarra-Chew

      Agreed. I can’t see Industry Canada Ruber stamping this one.

    • Ben

      They would because the only reason the mobilicity sale kept getting vetoed was because they were trying to sell to one of the Big 3. Considering Shaw doesn’t have an existing wireless network, there is no reason to block the sale except for potential price increase, which is not a valid reason.

    • Spencer Navarra-Chew

      I’m not saying it won’t get approval. I personally think it will, but I’m betting it won’t be quicknor easy.

    • Ben

      Why do you think it won’t be quick or easy? The Rogers/Shaw/Wind/Mobilicity deal was approved in a day. Unless there is some glaring problem, I don’t see much delaying the approval process…

      actually, this sale might have even faster approval. The Rogers sale at least involved a Big 3, which the government don’t want the spectrum to go to. It was only with Rogers giving massive amount of spectrum to Wind for free that the approval came. Considering this deal involves Wind and Shaw, who doesn’t own any wireless spectrum now, I don’t foresee anything blocking the sale or even slowing it down.

    • CADDMan71

      This should be rubber stamped by the CRTC. Shaw with their Cable/Internet revenue should be able to finally stop the bleeding that Wind has suffered from since their inception. Curious to know (haven’t read any story details yet) how much of the $1.6billion will go towards outstanding debts.

    • MassDeduction

      They just recapitalized their debt, and it was’t as big as I thought it would be according to media reports. $135 million or something like that?

    • CADDMan71

      I find it INCREDIBLY difficult to believe their dept was only $135 million. Likely closer to a billion unless they sold off major portions of their capital assets, and even then they wouldn’t would be worth that much.

    • MassDeduction

      It’s more than possible that I misread/misunderstood as I only read it very quickly. 🙂

    • Rob

      Wind made money on selling spectrum to MT&T and SaskTel earlier this year. So that probably paid down some debt.

    • CADDMan71

      Don’t think the spectrum in those provinces would be anywhere close to the value needed to relieve Wind of that much debt. However, since Wind is not a public company we’ll never know the true amounts.

    • John

      Who is MT&T?

    • Rob

      Sorry! I meant MTS.

    • Mikie

      It’s no different than Videotron coming out west.. I have a little faith in these guys..

    • TomsDisqusted

      Now the two newbies – Shaw and Quebecor – have the same corporate profile as the 3 existing players.

      They will probably just play the same games – inflated and confusing pricing, bundling, lobbying to prevent foreign participation….

    • It’s Me

      Shaw is definitely part of the old boys club of telecoms that have success mainly because of government granted monopolies. But I’m not sure they immediately mean a big 4, even though they likely want to. First, they are nowhere near the size of the others in customers or network. That means if they want to see any further grow they need to invest and compete aggressively on price at least in the short and medium term. Second, even if and when they do achieve something close to parity in subscribers with the others, it’s always more difficult to hold together a working cartel of 4 than it is for 3. So even if they become the big 4th, there always a chance, even outside, that one of the 4 has to rock the boat which leads to all having to. But that second is a big maybe.

    • Do Do

      I just bought a Macbook pro with the money I saved from switching from Rogers to Wind. I’m fairly certain I won’t be buying the next Macbook iteration with the savings from switching if this goes through. Yup, big 4.

  • Shaw has the capital to build out a strong nationwide 4th carrier. But as a Shaw cable customer, I can sure see them jacking up the costs.

    • Spencer Navarra-Chew

      Yes, but why would they? They’d just join in the old boys club and share network while price fixing with their buddies RoBellUs.
      I guess RoBellShUs?

    • Ben

      problem with depending on sharing network is the Big 3 is unlikely to negotiate a favourable rate for Shaw. At the very least, not one where Shaw can maintain price low enough to retain customers…

    • Juice Box

      I prefer “robellush”

    • Roy Trenneman

      Why are we leaving Videotron out? Wouldn’t it be “RoBellTelViSh” which to me sounds more like an evil Elf.

  • Mike

    Oh, wow! This could be really good or really bad. I can’t see it being bad. Wind is so shitty as it is, couldn’t possibly get worse, even if prices go up.

  • Sha-wind!

  • Motoroid

    Note that because of the Shaw-Rogers deal, Rogers gave some spectrum to WIND for free. Now its win-win for Shaw

    • Dan man

      well hard to say without more information… they might have ended paying more for wind. However i kind of believe what you have said to some extent as well, in a way rogers got blind sided pretty hard.

    • Ben

      Not sure if it is a complete win-win for Shaw. They got money from Rogers for the spectrum they sold, but I assume that the price for Wind got more expensive because Wind got a lot of spectrum from Rogers. Basically, this deal negated the Shaw/Roger deal…

  • ipostic

    Now WIND just needs to expand beyond handful of cities and provide competitive coverage across Canada (without extra charges) with all the new Nokia equipment they are getting. I’m happy for this buyout though there is some danger since Shaw is very friendly with Rogers and might not take a truly competitive approach to Mobile services.

    • Adam

      HAHAHAHAHAHA. WIthout extra charges!? Have you ever seen a Shaw bill? They’re worse than any of the other major telecoms.

    • ipostic

      I meant the extra charges that WIND currently bills you for when you are in the AWAY area or whatever it’s called.
      I see what you are saying but as a Shaw customer for Internet – my bill is pretty good, consistent without any extra charges. Shaw does not care about the overages on monthly caps (compared to Telus that typically bugs customers about it).
      I’m not saying they will be perfect but I think they have the capital and a decent team to pull off being 4th major player better than any new entrant.

    • Adam


      They’ve got better negotiating power, so they’ll probably have better roaming options than Wind, but your normal monthly plan inevitably will go up as Shwind matures

    • monkeymo

      Telus bugs you on caps because they do Usage based billing for home internet….

    • Agreed, Shaw is famous for the “we’ll be adding $xx to your account to ensure quality…” (or whatever statement they say)

    • Adam

      They are notorious for price increases to basic services. Not counting promotional pricing ending, it’s not unusual at all for an internet bill that once cost $45 to be up to over $60 within two years. Their non-promotional pricing for wireline and TV services seem quite high. I have a hard time seeing that change with wireless.

    • arahman21

      Don’t remind me of the price hike they tried to pass off as a “price reduction” at the start of 2015…

    • Most people in their key regions think they don’t provide competitive coverage, I don’t see them expanding and being able to do so.

  • Adam Reinhardt

    I think Shaw will have one look at the books and back down

    • deltatux

      Shaw likely already poured through the books prior to announcing the purchase. Usually there’s a backout fee if the deal falls through. Shaw would likely owe WIND money, which won’t be ideal for Shaw if they didn’t review the books.

    • Ben

      Since this deal will take place over 2016, I have a feeling that this will all depends on the Wind LTE rollout. If LTE help retain/attract a lot of customer, Shaw will go through with the deal. If it made no difference to Wind sub base, I have a feeling that Shaw would pay the penalty than go through with the deal.

    • deltatux

      That wouldn’t make sense because Shaw is trying to fill the gap in its offerings compared to its competitors. Shaw competes on all aspects of Canadian media: landline phone, cable/satellite TV, cable Internet, TV stations, and radio stations. Compared to the likes of Rogers, Bell, and Videotron (and to extent TELUS), all it’s missing is a wireless network. It actually made no sense for them to abort their initial launch in 2008.

      I have a feeling Shaw feels stupid for not having wireless and instead of starting from scratch by only building their LTE network based on future government auctions (which are in bands higher than AWS), they rather just buy out WIND and continue building upon that. The problem WIND right now is money, they already got all their legal troubles behind, which hobbled the company’s growth. So Shaw is making a great move on their end to swallow up WIND.

  • Adam

    Well this makes things interesting. Especially in the central provinces where each region (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario) has their own local telecom. Shaw can afford to build out a network, and with the new regulations about network sharing, they can do so quite effectively.

    The Big-4 will soon be a thing – don’t expect that to change much however.

    • CADDMan71

      Being able to afford to build out a network is one thing, but not the most important thing. It’s getting the necessary municipal approvals to actually build anything that’s been the biggest roadblock for Wind since the very beginning. The most popular reason no-nothings have been spouting has been the big-3 blocking construction or tower sharing.

      Fact is it’s been municipal governments blocking new towers. Don’t think being Shaw will make any difference….might even be worse based on my experience working with Shaw (in BC) when they WERE trying to build out a cellular network in 2010 before they chickened out in early 2011. Shaw management were some of the most incompetent people I had to deal with as they had zero idea how to build a network or deal with local governments. Their Alberta arrogance kept making them believe money could solve problems, or just their will.

    • Adam

      Remember though, Shaw already has a vast network of rural communications towers that other carriers colocate on. They’ve got far more bargaining power than Wind, based on their wireline telecommunications business. Building up urban sites will be the challenge, but that will just involve lots of building sites. Plus, new cellular regulations require carriers to allow tower sharing at reasonable rates.

    • CADDMan71

      What are these ‘vast network of rural communications towers’ you speak of? I worked for Shaw (in BC, but other regions may be different) and their cable network didn’t have any towers other than a couple microwaves at their COs.

    • Adam

      Take a look through Manitoba, NW Ontario, etc. They have microwave towers that already exist which carriers currently fix mobility antennae to. I’d imagine BC would be different, as the mountains make it challenging for line of sight towers to be useful, but on flatter terrain, they’ve got quite a few.

    • CADDMan71

      uhhh, Manitoba and Northwest Ontario….really? Hardly areas where there’s any population density that needs cellular coverage which’ll provide the necessary revenue. If they’re microwave points then the number of towers is hardly close to any numbers that would be needed to build out a proper network, especially data intensive networks like we have today. Voice only from back in the 90’s-00s, perhaps, not today. But that’s just an initial opinion, I’ll need to look into it.

    • Adam

      How many microwave towers does Wind have?

      I never said all their towers were set, but they already do have some options to get started with.

    • CADDMan71

      Wind has more than Shaw, that’s for sure. But we already know how little Wind has to support their network. Shaw doesn’t have any that would make any sort of difference to either improve the network or to use as bargaining chips against the other carriers.

    • CADDMan71

      oh, and their wireline telecommunications business, all coax, which is single carrier only. Not twisted pair copper like TELUS or Bell. Hardly something they can use as a bargaining chip to compete with the telco carriers. Rogers is in a similar boat with their coax network, but at least they have a cellular network, which Shaw is only just beginning now.

      Don’t get me wrong, Shaw is in a much better position than Wind, but if you’ve ever worked in the cellular industry you’d know that money isn’t necessarily the be all end all for getting things built. And Shaw has a reputation in the industry as being cheap.

    • Adam

      So is the fibre network they claim to be rolling out a lie? (Seriously, I don’t know).

      Most new installations of wired services with other providers at the very least is Fibre to the Node, if not to the home.

    • CADDMan71

      No, their fiber network is not a lie. And it is fairly extensive, at least in the high population urban centres. However, and using your words, how would that give them more bargaining power against the big-3 when they have their own, even more extensive, fiber optic networks? Fiber optic networks are, for the most part, built to service the carrier who installed it. There are exceptions, such as Bell in Vancouver who don’t have much of a fiber network other than the limited routes built for the Olympics, who use the incumbent’s network, in this case TELUS. Shaw doesn’t have that kind of presence unfortunately.

  • HelloCDN

    I will hold off on celebrating… Shaw has a terrible billing system – rigged by bugs and twisted logistics choices. Their pricing is on par with what I can get from Telus (Vancouver) and there is no other competition. Luckily, there is a small independent provider Novus, but it’s only available in selected downtown buildings… Essentially, if this proves to be true, we are going to have the Big 4 instead of Big 3.

    • w00

      TekSavvy is the competition you’re looking for (probably).

      I get Shaw’s final-mile infrastructure at TekSavvy’s prices – no surprises, helpful tech support staff – couldn’t be happier with them.

  • NLer in Ottawa

    If Shaw can rapidly extend Wind’s network, and keep prices low (lower than the big 3) they can do well.

    Whether I’ll be inclined to stick with “Shwind” if they raise prices is another story.

    • Adam

      Shaw has an unofficial non-competition agreement with rogers not to infringe on each other’s wireline business. Prices are on par with each other. You’re dreaming if you think Shaw is going to keep the same low-cost model that Wind had.

    • Dan man

      well i don’t see shaw charging high rates immediately that would be suicidal. It would take a few years at least while shaw builds up winds infrastructure… at the point its pricing will probably be similar to the big 3 and there would be no point in switching.

    • will

      I’d be extremelly happy if they could match Videotron’s prices. They are very competitive

  • fidorulz

    Shaw got spectrum and did nothing with it and then sold it. They dont seem very likely to actually do something.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Videotron made a move and it would make more
    sense and has a better likelihood of getting the go from the government.

    Videotron has spectrum in places that Wind is lacking in Quebec plus they recently purchased spectrum in all the cities wind operates and use the same network frequencies for 3G as Wind so it would benefit their customers as well vs roaming on rogers the whole time.

    You would have a legit 4th carrier

    • abc123

      Maybe this is a preemptive strike to make Videotron pay more than they’re willing to offer.

      This would make even more sense if Shaw knows that their chances of being approved by the competition bureau is nil.

  • FlipFlopcarrot

    Please dont buy wind and I really hope that competition bureau doesn’t allow it to happen. I am happy with wind as it is affordable and it almost works everywhere in GTA. If they buy wind I am sure they will jack up the prices in a heart beat…

    • monkeymo

      thats the problem, wind’s prices arent sustainable for their necessary infrastructure buildout

  • abc123


    “We do not compete on price”

    That’s what Shaw retentions said to me the day I cancelled their services.

    As a former long time Shaw customer with cable, internet, and phone, the acquisition is not in the best interests of Canadians. We should do everything possible to block this scourge of a company from acquiring Wind.

    This is definitely not good news for Wind customers.

    • Adam

      Shaw’s structure seems to be to attract customers with enticing deals (cheap promotional rates for 6 months to a year, then FULL price afterwards). They certainly do not compete on outright price.

    • Do Do

      Temporary deals are the same as saying come to the light dumb dumb and too often, dumb dumbs do. People don’t realize for some reason that the longer you stay with them the more that bull crap “deal” is reduced until it becomes almost nothing.

    • monkeymo

      then who has the money to incur wind’s losses with their current pricing structure?

  • Andrew English

    Well it’s a given that Shaw has wanted back into the Ontario marketplace since they agreed to leave when the sold, I mean traded, their cable assets with Rogers. I think they felt they made a big mistake. So this will be good for them, lets hope that its a win wind! 🙂

  • MassDeduction

    Why the heck would they sell spectrum to Rogers, some of which ended up with Wind who then turned around and sold it, only to buy Wind? I instinctively looked at the date to see if it was April 1st! This is ridiculous.

    Though maybe that means we’ll finally get Wind coverage in Victoria!

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      For (some of) the $$$ towards this?

    • CADDMan71

      The problem Wind had in Victoria wasn’t money issues, it was municipal support. I worked on the Wind network build out in Victoria and municipalities left and right were constantly denying site proposals. A bunch of sites were built, but not enough to go on the air.

  • abc123

    Maybe it was like the Mobilicity fiasco. Somebody came up with the idea that Wind was thinking of buying them, so bids started coming in from the competition jacking up the price… making Wind back off.

    Or something like that.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      This could be just the start. If Videotron wants WIND, Shaw just set the baseline.

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    as Long as GrandFathered Plan is not touched I am okay with it

    • abc123

      They may not touch it, but then when LTE rolls around, guess what? Your plan does not work with LTE… forcing you to upgrade to a more expensive plan sooner or later.

      Then if they decide to phase out HSPA+, you’re dead in the water.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      That is likely to happen, but not for the next 3-4 years. AWS-3 (Band 10) equipment & devices don’t even exist yet.

      The transition to VoLTE for WIND cannot occur until some form of LTE exists, at larger, for the carrier.

    • Chris

      The 3gpp approved band 66 for AWS-3 in late Oct.
      Saw a report saying that Ericsson was seeking FCC testing a couple days after that. So it is AWS-3 LTE is moving a long much faster then you think.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      From the sources that most have read, AWS-3 (or AWS-1+) was designated as LTE Band 10.

      3GPP approval of Band 66 seems like a re-categorization or blanket band for AWS-1, AWS-3, & half of AWS-4.

      Regardless, that equipment you mentioned is this, the RRUS 32 B66A: apps.fcc(.)gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=esKIIKkcKmufLaqtbEzEYw%3D%3D&fcc_id=TA8AKRC161583-1

    • Chris

      Band 10 only includes GHI block, band 66 takes in J1/J2 (Bell/Telus’s holding) and AWS-4 (USA) I do believe.
      Canada doesn’t have the buying power to develop just GHI block (IMO) so it just makes sense to use what the USA is going to use.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      That’s quite true, especially since AT&T bought a LOT of J block as per these maps: http://www.phonearena(.)com/news/Here-are-maps-of-who-bought-what-and-where-in-the-recent-AWS-3-spectrum-auction_id65502

      Just wondering what DISH is going to do with all the spectrum they manage to purchase.

  • Definitely not good for the consumer.
    Shaw will be increasing prices, and decreasing features like the Big 3.

    • abc123


      My guess is the first thing they axe is the unlimited US roaming package.

  • If this goes through, so much for seeing a Canadian “un-carrier” like that in the US with T-Mobile.

  • George

    Didn’t I say before those so call investor group eventually will sell wind to whoever they want? Those investors want to make easy money and not to make you and I happy.
    Wind underperforms for many reasons. Unless Shaw or other entity with strong leadership takes over and get rid of piles of Arabs and Pakis (all orascom leftovers and result of incompetent HR) that company would never be a good company.

    P.S. kiss your unlimited $40 goodbye soon after shaw ownership if indeed happens!

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      You don’t have to be a RACIST/BIGOT to make your point!

    • George

      I am not. Go there and see for yourself. I have nothing against nationality of people but it is what it is and this is the way company structured.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      This segment of your original post: “get rid of piles of Arabs and Pakis” needs revision, if you truly are NOT.

    • Hello Moto

      “piles of foreigners” would have sufficed. People already know where Orascom is from.

    • his long time hatred of Wind has to do with the fact that they were set up by Arabs

  • dirtyKIMCHI

    WIND made an announcement on their site:

  • David

    In business logic it’s a natural fit. Alek is a rational telecom CEO who knows that a strong network (which is what he is bolstering now as a foundation) and a triple play offering will make Wind a true forth national carrier for both the pros and cons it brings. It’s rare for a wireless only carrier to succeed. I wish Wind the best both as a customer and an observer of Canadian telecom.

  • dirtyKIMCHI

    Shaw has also announced:

    Also, they state that WIND has about 940,000 subs in their press release (for those that wanted to know where WIND stood regarding users).

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      Shaw and WIND senior management will hold a conference call with the financial community on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 6:00 a.m. MT/8:00 a.m. ET. Members of the media and the public will be able to participate in listen-only mode.

      The call details are:

      Canada/U.S. Toll Free: 1-800-319-4610
      Please call five to 10 minutes prior to commencement of the call

  • Raj Singh

    Whoa. That’s interesting news.

  • deltatux

    I see this is a good thing. Why? Because WIND finally has a significant source of money to rapidly build out their network. Also, Videotron holds the 700 MHz spectrum in the GTA, having Shaw owning WIND, there’s a huge leverage over Videotron to sell this spectrum and help WIND gain lower “prime real estate” spectrum.

    With the size of Shaw, they can also potentially do roaming agreements with SaskTel/MTS/Videotron & Eastlink to allow customers to potentially roam on each other’s network without being dinged (sort of like how the EXT network works like).

    I see opportunities here, and if Shaw can do it as big as SaskTel/MTS, it should lower cell phone bills as SaskTel & MTS have been able to do so.

  • jsebean

    As someone from Eastern Canada this should mean nothing but great news for us. I’m hoping Shaw has ambitions to expand here, or to strike a roaming deal with someone like Eastlink Wireless. I 4th carrier here that could bring real competition to the market would be splendid for us as there is simply no affordable way to get cellular service here like the rest of the country.

    • Comrade Yeti

      You have a fourth carrier. It’s Eastlink

    • jsebean

      I meant 4th national carrier. Eastlink is a niche network that isn’t even that competitive over the big 3.

  • Handheld Addict

    I’m curious what Daniel Bader thinks of this. Is this good news? Bad? Not sure.

    I don’t know much about the technical stuff, but since Shaw has many public Wi-Fi zones even outside on telephone poles, etc. Could they create a cellphone/Wi-Fi network like Project Fi?

    • J. Soul

      Very surprised to see this not talked about so far.

      Shaw Go WiFi gives Wind immediate access to 75,000 traffic off-loaders, the majority of which are located indoors… Where WIND sorely hurts in the coverage department.

      As an existing WIND customer and Shaw employee…this is extremely interesting news.

  • lycao syncrymm

    Given how shaw operate their other services, this would almost definitely turn into the big 4, rather than promote competition, and us as consumers would be right back where we started as far as getting screwed by the telecom companies goes.

    But then, until the government actually sacks up and properly regulates the industry, I can’t see anything major changing regardless.

    Set another plate at the oligopoly table.

  • Elton Bello

    Nothing good happens for us, customers

  • MrQ

    Shaw rates for TV/Internet are a huge rip off , with constant price increases multiple times a year

    They will do the same with Wind by quickly matching Big 3 prices once LTE is launched

    • Omis

      No kidding. I remember my TV jumped 20 in a span of year. And it wasn’t from promotions ending. Every bill had a price increase. Finally went crawling back to Bell.

  • Who Needs Facts

    So seven years of Conservative meddling and we are back where we started. Thank god those clowns are gone. Maybe now the industry can finally grow based on market principles.

    • DMan

      Market principles like oligopoly and collusion?

  • fruvous

    Well, we should have expected this. Alek sold Public and was probably brought on to Wind to sell since they didn’t belong to any larger company.

  • yadeed

    In the absence of real regulation like in Europe, this deal is bad for everyone.. a win to the oligopolies and cartels that suck the blood and money out of canadians.

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  • OgtheDim

    Well so much for keeping your plan forever.

  • Delphus

    Funny how everybody on MS wants more competition and when it finally happens, everybody bit___s about it 🙂

  • Swordfish

    As a Shaw Cable customer, I can only imagine how horrible the service will be. They can’t even fix their guide on their cable boxes, been broken for months with nothing from them other than “we are working on it”. I don’t trust this company any more than I do Rogers, Telus or Bell. They already have the same attitude as the big three so they will fit right in.

  • Andrew

    I think this will be great for the market in Canada. Shaw has a ton more money and a much larger customer base than Wind that it can use to rapidly expand Wind into a major competitor across Canada which hopefully will lower rates across the board. I bet Wind will be re-branded to Shaw eventually though.

  • danbob333

    Wind and Mobilicity whole buisness model was to be bought by a larger entity from the start.

  • CCH

    I can see Shaw in the future being like Rogers out East, or Bell even…bundle services all the way! hahaha.

    Time will tell how horrible, or great this could be for Shaw.

  • AlphaEdge

    Just sad.

    I was with Shaw for my internet for many years, and 4 years ago dropped them for Telus. They raised the rate 5 times in 3 years. Two of those years, they raised the rate twice in the same year! When I asked why they were raising their rate so much, they said they wanted to catch up to their competition.

    If they raise rates on my Holiday Miracle Plan, which I expect them to do, I will switch.

    I tried to convince about 5 different friends over the years to go with Wind, and they did not for one reason or another (some had really lame reasons), and I’m glad they didn’t now. Funny how things work out.

    Only thing now to worry about, the competition will start raising their rates, if Shaw/Wind starts doing it also. So much for saving money on wireless here in Canada. It was good while it lasted, and I saved a ton because of Wind.

  • gommer strike

    So the moment that WIND gets some serious muscle behind, everyone here on Mobilesyrup goes “oh no, it’s gonna be big 4″…what’s with the attitude guys?

    I thought you guys all said you wanted more competition. WIND would be it…but it didn’t have enough deep pockets to really step it up. And now with Shaw backing it, it does. I don’t understand why we aren’t popping out the champagne.

    Big 4…where does this stuff come from man?

  • When I heard this news I was happy. Wind could get a lot better reception wise. I can’t imagine the prices staying the same since Shaw is a public company and revenue and growth will be key from now on.

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