Shaw upgrades underground LTE as Canadian telcos boost GDP

Shaw upgrades underground LTE as Canadian telcos boost GDP


Shaw Communications is expanding its underground LTE connectivity, boosting service provision for Shaw Mobile and Freedom Mobile customers travelling on the SkyTrain system.

The network boost builds on Shaw's partnership with TransLink and sees fast LTE services provided to Shaw and Freedom customers travelling through the Evergreen Tunnel between Burquitlam and Moody stations on the Millennium Line as well as the Columbia Station and Millennium Tunnels between New Westminster and Sapperton stations on the Expo Line.

“Today’s announcement marks a critical milestone in our partnership with TransLink to expand connectivity services for our customers throughout the Lower Mainland,” said Paul Deverell, president, consumer, Shaw Communications.

Previously the two have worked together on the system-wide rollout of free Wifi for TransLink customers on buses, SeaBuses, SkyTrains, transit stations and major transit hubs. TransLink expects the latest LTE rollout will be complete in 2026.

These network upgrades follow the 2018 expansion of fast LTE network access throughout the Dunsmuir Tunnel.

News of the latest developments broke as new data on the Canadian market from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), concluded that the telecommunications industry contributed up to C$70.7 billion to GDP while supporting almost 600,000 jobs in 2020. More broadly, the industry influenced up to 3.14% of overall Canadian GDP in 2020.

The figures were achieved "despite a 5.4% contraction in the Canadian economy in 2020".

"The telecommunications industry has played a key role in keeping Canadians connected since the outbreak of Covid-19 and it is clear that Canada's high quality digital infrastructure has been crucial in sustaining economic and social activity across the country," said Robert Ghiz, president and CEO of CWTA.

"Despite the economic headwinds of 2020, Canada's telecom operators continued to invest billions of dollars to expand and upgrade Canada's telecommunications infrastructure, and provided additional support to Canadians dealing with the hardships of Covid-19."

CWTA said the economic contributions were driven by the telecommunications industry's "sustained and significant capital investment", with more than C$11 billion invested in wireless and wireline connectivity