Shaw halts wireless network deployment

Shaw Communications today announced that it will not launch a wireless network as originally planned. It had originally planned to launch such a service in 2011 but later delayed it to 2012. After completing a strategic review, Shaw has now decided not to move forward:

The economics of a conventional wireless business as a new entrant are extremely challenging. New entrants lack the economies of scale and scope to compete effectively against well established incumbents with ubiquitous coverage, extensive device ecosystems, deep spectrum positions and large retail networks. Even with our established base and considerable strengths and assets, we could not justify a wireless network build at this time.

Shaw will instead deploy a managed Wi-Fi network. “Given that Wi-Fi spectrum is free and there are no device subsidies, we can build extensive Wi-Fi coverage at a substantially lower cost relative to a traditional wireless network and still provide our customers with an excellent broadband wireless experience.”

Shaw has not said what it will do with the spectrum licenses it obtained in the last Canadian auction. I suspect that a few other carriers will be calling Shaw today.

Read more about this story