Canadian cableco Shaw Communications’ cellular division has renamed itself from Wind Mobile to Freedom Mobile, whilst disclosing that it will launch a 4G LTE network on 27 November. Freedom’s revamped website says that Toronto and Vancouver will receive its LTE services first, whilst it will upgrade all its other existing 3G network coverage areas to 4G by autumn 2017. ‘Complete’ LTE coverage of the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver area is scheduled for spring 2017, whilst national and US LTE roaming is also expected to be introduced for Freedom Mobile customers in the spring. LTE network coverage for Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa is scheduled for summer 2017, while southwest and southeast Ontario is earmarked to receive Freedom’s 4G services by autumn 2017.
Shaw completed its 100% takeover of Wind Mobile (now Freedom Mobile), Canada’s fourth-largest cellular operator, for approximately CAD1.6 billion (USD1.2 billion) in March 2016. Shaw has since spent millions on network upgrades and says that the rebranding is aimed at making a ‘fresh start’ with ‘a renewed focus on making wireless services more affordable’ for its one million-plus mobile users. Freedom Mobile’s LTE rollout is leveraging the AWS-3 spectrum it purchased at auction in 2015.