Shaw delaying mobile launch again; posts 29% rise in fiscal Q2 sales

14 Apr 2011

Western Canada’s largest cable network operator Shaw Communications has announced that it will slow plans to roll out a mobile network to focus on its core triple-play cable and satellite TV businesses. Shaw said that it will ‘slow wireless build activities as we carefully consider all options in advance of the launch of a wireless service,’ a process that will include evaluating technology and strategic alternatives. The company said it faces heightened competition which has increased the level of risk in its forecasts, with increased pressure coming from its main competitor in the western provinces, quadruple-play provider Telus. The cautionary note comes only three months after January 2011’s announcement from Shaw that it will not launch its own mobile network until early 2012, following a series of delays to its entry into the wireless sector as part of a strategy to offer quad-play bundled services. This week, 3G mobile newcomer Mobilicity announced it is expanding its network to Calgary, Alberta, providing more wireless competition in the region. Meanwhile, Shaw is also concentrating on assimilating the former Canwest Global TV broadcasting assets it bought in October last year for over USD2 billion. To cut costs, the Calgary-based firm recently took a decision to eliminate around 550 jobs.

Shaw’s fiscal second-quarter results for the three months ended 28 February 2011 showed a 29% year-on-year rise in consolidated revenues to CAD1.197 billion (USD1.244 billion), although it admitted that revenue growth is moderating in its core business due to the competitive environment, an issue it said it will address by continuing to ‘make adjustments in our business as necessary to meet the changing circumstances.’ Net profit in the quarter rose by 20.1% year-on-year to CAD167 million.

Canada, Shaw Communications