Triple-play cableco Shaw Communications said last week that it will not launch its own mobile network until early 2012, the latest in a series of announcements delaying the western Canadian company’s entry into the wireless sector as part of a strategy to offer quad-play bundled services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the firm previously said that it was investing around USD100 million in 2010 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. Shaw won 3G/4G wireless frequency licences mainly covering the Western and Prairie provinces in July 2008, costing CAD190 million (USD192 million). In June 2010 Shaw selected Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to provide the radio access and core infrastructure for a next generation mobile network, designed to be capable of offering both 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, with a launch mooted for late 2011. Speculation that Shaw might skip 3G completely and launch a 4G-only network must take into account the fact that a lack of widespread roaming at launch would put it at a competitive disadvantage.
Shaw has also posted its results for its fiscal first quarter ended 30 November 2010, reporting net income of CAD20.3 million, compared with CAD114.2 million a year ago, on revenues that rose 19% to CAD1.08 billion. The quarter included a CAD139.1 million charge related to the acquisition of Canwest TV assets (now renamed Shaw Media).