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Cisco details gear for Shaw's Wi-Fi build

Tue, 09/13/2011 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

Cisco provided some details on the specific gear Shaw Communications will use for its Wi-Fi network that is slated to be up and running early next year.

Earlier this month, Shaw announced it was forgoing its LTE network in favor of a Wi-Fi network for its subscribers in Western Canada.

Shaw will use several of Cisco's Internet networking technologies, including the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System and Cisco ASR 5000 and 1000 Series routers, to deliver video, data and mobile services to residential and commercial customers.

To power its new Wi-Fi services, Shaw will deploy Cisco Service Provider Wi-Fi, part of Cisco's M.O.VE architecture. The platform allows service providers to offer scalable mobile Internet access similar to services from a cellular network.

"Canadians' use of smartphones and tablet devices has grown exponentially over the years, and more than ever, consumers are relying on Wi-Fi to explore the Internet, connect with loved ones and enjoy entertainment," said Shaw President Peter Bissonnette. "Thanks to our collaboration with Cisco, Shaw's Wi-Fi network will allow us to become the first service provider in Canada to deliver our secure, reliable and incredibly fast Internet in thousands of locations."

Similar to Cablevision’s New York metropolitan-area Wi-Fi deployments, Shaw will use the Cisco platform to provide highly secure coverage in targeted public areas such as sporting venues and transit systems. In addition, Shaw will also deploy the Cisco Unified Computing System as a cloud-computing infrastructure to deliver a secure virtual experience.

Shaw executives previously said the Wi-Fi network would strengthen the company's relationship with its 1.8 million data customers, as well as provide incremental revenue opportunities, such as hotspots in shopping malls.

Cablevision has been able to reduce churn through its Wi-Fi service, while also gaining additional pricing power by including Wi-Fi into its data plans, according to Shaw.

According to the Calgary Herald, Shaw will start installing the Wi-Fi gear this fall in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The Shaw Wi-Fi network is set to begin deployment later this year, with a customer launch to follow in the spring.

Last week, Time Warner Cable announced it was spending $15 million on a wireless network in its Southern California system. Time Warner Cable is using Wi-Fi gear from BelAir Networks for its Los Angeles-area Wi-Fi network.

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