Despite appointing a new leader during its quarterly conference call on Friday, Shaw Communications Inc. isn’t changing its tune on the progress of its wireless network — that is to say the cable giant still refuses to share any details about the upcoming launch.
During its quarterly financial call on Friday, the Calgary-based telecom company announced that CEO Jim Shaw would be resigning his post in 2011 after 12 years in the role. He will move to executive chair of the company and make way for his younger brother, Bradley Shaw, who will take over the reins of chief executive at the firm’s shareholder meeting next year.
“Brad has been with the company for over 20 years and has played an increasingly important role in the leadership and strategic direction of our company,” Jim Shaw told financial analysts on the call before stepping aside to let his brother field questions.
In his opening statement, soon-to-be CEO Bradley Shaw said the company’s core business has “remained resilient” in the face of heightened competition. He also addressed the company’s entrance to the wireless market as a way to “strengthen its portfolio of assets.”
During the 2008 government auction, Shaw acquired $200 million of mobile spectrum to allow it to build a wireless phone network. The network is widely expected to launch in late 2011.
But when pressed on the specifics of the company’s future wireless network, Bradley Shaw declined to give any details on the technologies that would be used, the partners involved in building out the infrastructure, and which cities the service would launch in.
“We’re working on building out the market, but we can’t give any more information than that,” said Bradley Shaw. He added that the company is “on-track” with the build-out of the wireless network and is particularly excited about the opportunity after seeing the success of Quebecor Inc.
The company’s cable arm, Videotron, launched its HSPA+ wireless network in Quebec earlier this year, taking advantage of the $554 million it paid to acquire wireless spectrum in the 2008 auction.
But despite Shaw’s reference, Videotron is actually not a newcomer to the wireless space. As a virtual wireless operator, it has been leasing spectrum from Rogers Communications Inc. for years and packaging up the service under its own brand.