Friday, March 5, 2010

Shaw's Wireless Wait And See Game

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For Canadian cell phone subscribers, the long sought competition is starting to arrive.  The launch of Wind Mobile at the end of 2009, and two more new carriers Mobilicity and Public Mobile are expected to launch in May.  While the promise made in 2008 when Industry Canada opened up new frequency bands for new cell phone carriers is starting to come true, one of the big winners in the wireless telecom spectrum auction hasn't even announced a launch.  Shaw Communications won licenses for large chunks of the new cell phone spectrum, but hasn't even announced any plans to launch a cell phone service of their own.

Playing the waiting game allows Shaw to acquire ether Wind Mobile or Mobilicity if they end up in trouble from debt mounting from paying for winning bids in the spectrum auction, building networks, and marketing to attract subscribers.  This is similar to the way that Telus expanded from their Western Canadian base to become a national carrier by buying out Clearnet back in the year 2000.  Some may think this may be an underhanded way of getting into cell phone industry.  With changes to the way Canada's telecommunications industry is regulated it will be an easier way to become a cell phone carrier.

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