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Shaw abandons plans to launch mobile phone network and opts for wifi instead

Shaw Communications has taken a pounding in their core business by new entrant in the TV market, Telus. TELUS launched its Optik TV platform a couple of years ago and has run a very successful campaign luring clients away from Shaw. With Optik TV a client ony needs one PVR to connect to up to 6 televisions and has cool features like a Smart Phone app that acts as a remote control for the PVR.

5 reasons why Optik TV kicked Shaw’s butt

  1. PVR Anywhere – Telus Optik TV allows you to hook up multiple TVs to one PVR.

  2. The Optik TV Smart Phone app – Available on iphone, android, windows phone 7 and blackberry.

  3. On screen caller id – If you have a land line your caller id displays on the TV Screen so you don’t have to get off the couch.

  4. Excellent user interface – more advanced and user friendly

  5. FREE X-box with Kinnect or FREE Samsung Tablet PC

TELUS came out with a superior product at a competitive price and has almost knocked Shaw out for the count. But Shaw was down but not out and has launched a new Fibre Optik Network which is competitive with Telus Optik TV and now they are going after the wireless data business with city wide wifi networks.

Choosing megabytes over minutes!

Shaw had planned on coming out swinging at Telus by launching a mobile phone network to compete with Telus in its core mobility business. Industry commentators speculated that Shaw would come out gunning for Telus on its own turf. However, deploying a full scale mobile network would cost well over a billion dollars and Shaw has decided to target mobile data usage and will forgo competing in the mobile voice market. A Wi-Fi network of this scale most likely would cost one quarter the price of a wireless phone network.

Shaw has partnered with Cisco to deploy a huge Wi-Fi network that will cover public areas in Western Canada’s major cities. Shaw customers will have internet access on their mobile devices for no additional charge.

The new Shaw public Wi-Fi network will start in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and will be open for business by April or May of next year.

This move will leverage Shaw’s existing network and provide an extra benefit for choosing Shaw as your home or business internet provider. Wi-Fi access is aimed at the fast growing smart phone and tablet pc market which increases the demand for access to hotspots. The new network will be much more than a series of hotspots and will cover transit lines, stadiums and public venues, parks and busy urban centers.

Shaw is planning to earn advertising fees from the service by using location based delivery of promotional offers.

Would you be more likely to stay with Shaw or switch back to Shaw because of this service?