The Globe and Mail highlights how Shaw Cable plans to increase its free WiFi presence in Western Canada to do battle with Telus and other wireless carriers in the region when it comes to the Canadian thirst for data usage, in particular BC and Alberta, which consume the most data in Canada.
Shaw CEO Bradley Shaw reveals how the company was inspired to launch its own WiFi network and forego a wireless network (despite a $189.5 million investment in spectrum) to compete after learning how Cablevision customers in the USA were using similar WiFi offerings back in 2011.
Shaw says their WiFi network can allow home customers to save on data usage and overages from the ‘Big 3’ by using their vast WiFi network, which spans 30,000 hot spots nationwide and is used by 300,000 customers and 600,000 devices; Shaw customers average roughly 1GB of data per month, comparable to data options from incumbents.
Shaw’s CEO on their WiFi network:
“It is open for every Bell, Telus and Rogers customer in Western Canada. So, come on in.”
The company has spent $75 million its WiFi network to date and has plans to increase its coverage, with 40 municipal deals being inked. Jay Mehr, Shaw’s chief operating officer says they want people to use their data network when they are hanging out somewhere, as they know they cannot target the mobility business where people are driving around town or in a residential area.
Future plans for Shaw include a Shaw Go app which would allow customers to extend their home phone lines to smartphones when in WiFi hotspots during traveling, plus video streaming options to compete with the likes of Netflix.
Shaw’s WiFi network was recently opened up to the general public to allow users to stream the end of the Sochi Olympics.
The Globe and Mail article slug says “in battle with telus shaw bets big on wifi” but the title was updated to replace Telus with ‘Western Canada’. Bell owns a 15% stake in The Globe and Mail.