Shaw Selects Nokia Siemens As Wireless Network Equipment Provider

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 30, 2010

Shaw Communications has chosen the Finnish-German telecoms equipment manufacturer Nokia Siemens Networks (also called NSN) as the provider for radio access network and core equipment for its next-generation wireless network. Shaw procured wireless licenses for nearly $190 million nearly two years ago but the company’s wireless ambitions have often take a back seat behind its cable business.

With this latest announcement, Shaw has revealed aggressive plans to launch its wireless business in 2011. No financial details of the deal were available.

The official press statement from Shaw states that NSN was selected after “an extensive and competitive review process”. The statement also mentions

“NSN has considerable experience in deploying state-of-the-art wireless networks in Canada, and has been a world leader in developing Third Generation (“3G”) and Long Term Evolution (“LTE”) technology. The equipment from NSN will be fully 3G and LTE capable, giving Shaw a variety of options to deliver broadband wireless services to customers using the Advanced Wireless Services (“AWS”) band, as well as future frequency bands. Shaw’s wireless network will be fully integrated into our extensive fibre optic network to enable the full potential of high-speed mobile applications to customers.”

Shaw has lined up significant investment plans for its wireless network – $100 million in year 2010 and little over $100 million in each of the following few years. As part of the contract, NSN will supply fully 3G and 4G super-fast LTE enabled network infrastructure to the Canadian carrier. While it’s good to see Shaw making a firm commitment to building a high performance network, I’m somewhat worried by the “late mover” disadvantage that it will face when it launches services in 2011. New carriers like WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile are already exerting severe pressure on the “Big Three” carriers and luring customers away from them. Irrespective of whether Shaw manages a launch in late 2011 or early 2012, it is bound to face severe competition from the incumbents.

NSN is a 50-50 JV between Nokia and Siemens. The merger of Nokia and Siemens networks business was expected to produce the world’s most powerful telecom infrastructure developer. However, NSN managed to sign only a handful of major deals in 2009 and it’s facing stiff competition from Huawei, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. The Shaw deal is an important milestone for NSN as it looks to expand its footprint in North America.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. >. Follow > by: RSS>, Twitter >, >, or Friendfeed >

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