Not until late next year for Shaw’s mobile service

13 Apr 2010

Triple-play cableco Shaw Communications has announced that it will launch commercial services over its own mobile network in late 2011, reports the Globe And Mail. The Calgary-based TV, internet and fixed telephony provider said that it will invest around USD100 million this year in its wireless network rollout and several hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years building out its cellular infrastructure, initially in Western Canada. The launch of mobile services had previously been forecast by the end of 2010, after Shaw won 3G/4G frequency licences mainly covering the Western and Prairie provinces in July 2008. CEO Jim Shaw says that the company’s planned quad-play services will give it an edge over some of the other new wireless entrants which won spectrum in 2008 and are mainly focused on mobile, including Wind Mobile (although partnering sister company Yak in the fixed long-distance voice market), Mobilicity (originally named DAVE Wireless) and Public Mobile. Shaw is mulling opportunities to share its broadcasting content across multiple platforms, including smart phones, should the company complete its acquisition of a controlling stake in CanWest Global Communications. Mr Shaw said part of the reason for wanting CanWest’s assets is to gain cheap access to CanWest’s towers. This would allow Shaw, which already offers Shaw Direct satellite TV outside its Western cable base, to expand further.

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