Shaw CEO says there’s ‘great opportunity’ in launching first-party wireless brand

Shaw Communications previously purchased Wind Mobile in March 2016, rebranding the company as Freedom Mobile in November 2016

Shaw logo

Shaw Communications president and CEO Brad Shaw used his company’s 2019 annual general meeting media call to state that there’s “great opportunity” in launching a first-party wireless brand.

“[There’s a] lot of opportunity for us to come into the market,” said Shaw, during the January 17th, 2019 media call, answering a question posed by MobileSyrup.

Shaw added that customers are drawn to “the right offer with the right network,” and that the telecom service provider always looks at both ends of the pricing market when forecasting plans.

“I’m sensitive to make sure we’re not jumping from one thing to another,” said Shaw.

“As of right now, we’re comfortable where we’re at, but we’ll always look at those things in the future.”

In response to a MobileSyrup question regarding the possibility of establishing a Shaw-branded carrier as a primary wireless service provider, while using the company’s Freedom Mobile subsidiary as a mid- or low-tier offering, Shaw said that “all those options are opening for us.”

Answering a question from Cartt, Shaw said that the company’s broadband offering “is the strength, it’s the story going forward.”

“Our real focus to make sure we stabilize wireline, pivot to broadband, manage profitability in video, we’re very comfortable with what that gives us,” said Shaw.

The Calgary-based Shaw currently owns Toronto-based regional player — and fourth-largest wireless business by subscribership — Freedom Mobile.

Brad Shaw used the same media call to add that his company is currently testing out Shaw and Freedom Mobile bundles at certain retail stores.

“It comes into question about branding and where Shaw Wireless is going,” said Shaw.

Shaw acquired Wind Mobile in March 2016, eventually rebranding the company as Freedom Mobile in November 2016.

According to Shaw’s Q1 2019 earnings report, 70 percent of Freedom Mobile’s customers are in the east, while only 30 percent of the carrier’s subscribers are in the west.

The same earnings report revealed that Freedom Mobile now boasts 1,468,473 wireless customers across its total operational footprint in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

The carrier plans on expanding its presence across all its current provincial markets later in 2019.

It’s worth noting that Shaw registered trademarks for ‘Shaw Mobility’ and ‘Shaw Wireless’ in September 2017, suggesting that the company may have had plans to debut a first-party wireless brand, or even possibly rebranding Freedom Mobile again in the future.