Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shaw's Wireless Wait And See Game - Redux

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In a previous entry to this blog I speculated about when and why Shaw Communications is waiting until next year to launch their own cell phone service.  I thought that Shaw was going to buy up another emerging cell carrier Wind Mobile or Mobilicity at a bargain basement price when one of those new service providers crumbles when the debt stacks up.  Other industry analysts believe the Shaw is going to be using Long Term Evolution technology for their wireless network.  Shaw is waiting the year to let that technology mature and to let LTE wireless products come to market.

LTE based networks have so much bandwidth that client connections can move so much more data than what is needed for cell phone calls and mobile Internet use.  Internet access using LTE is fast enough to challenge other ISP's using hardwired infrastructure.  In areas where Shaw isn't an incumbent ISP, that could give them a foothold in those markets.  Using an LTE network to deliver IPTV television service in areas where Shaw isn't the local cable company would give Shaw access to subscribers to TV service with on demand programming, something that even Shaw's own satellite TV service can't deliver.

It may seem like a year is a long time to wait to launch a wireless network especially given how much Shaw had to pay to get the license from the CRTC, it may be a small price to pay to build a network that has potential to go beyond cell phones.

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