As the third quarter figures start rolling in, the investors and companies, finally get to see if their predictions were accurate or if they get to smile or frown. For Bell of Canada, there were smiles all around…except perhaps from their subscribers. BCE posted revenues of $5.2 billion – mostly on strong wireless results – and the company posted $600 million in net income. This translates into $.77 a share through, "a greater mix of postpaid subscribers in our customer base, strong data revenue growth, and pricing discipline."
Wireless revenue increases were especially strong in the data usage area that saw an increase of 24-percent in the quarter based on those with higher priced smartphones and data plans. The Bell Wireless division alone posted operating revenues of $1.6 billion, also up 7-percent from the previous year.
Bell has 7.89 million subscribers – 87-percent are postpaid and they had a stable churn rate of 1.2-percent…lower than Rogers, but higher than TELUS. Of those 87-percent of postpaid customers, 75-percent of them are now using a smartphone, which is up 6-percent from last year. The more smartphones their subscribers are using, the more data they will use, as they start to use the web more often or download movies, videos, games and more. Bell added 91,000 postpaid customers, but that is a decrease of 1.9-percent when compared to last year – however, Bell had a higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) this quarter at $61.73…compared to TELUS's ARPU of $64.51 and Rogers' $60.96.
Bell also reported that their LTE speeds have increased during the Q3 due to added 700Mhz spectrum from the auctions. Right now, Bell claims that they cover about 84-percent of Canada's population with their network, but expect it to be up to 98-percent by the end of 2015. The Canadian telecoms are always in a power struggle to gain more subscribers and cover more area – the terrain of some of the countryside lends itself to difficulties. Rogers is working their new Rogers 3.0 plan, some of which is to increase customer services, but it will be a while before we see any concrete results from their efforts.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you are a Bell customer and what kind of coverage do you get – also are you finding yourself using more data than ever before…as always, we would love to hear from you.