Higher plan prices and strong data usage increase Bell Q2 revenue

Ian Hardy

August 7, 2014 8:54am

Bell reported its Q2 2014 results today and wireless revenues jumped 5.5% over the same period last year to $1.5 billion. The growth was attributed to “higher postpaid subscriber mix and strong growth in blended ARPU due to greater data usage and higher average rate plan pricing resulting from the elimination of 3-year contracts.” This is the first time Bell or any other incumbent carrier has remarked that two-year contracts are actually better for their bottom line.

Overall revenue for Bell, which includes wireless, wireline and Bell Media, was up 5.1% from last year to $4.65 billion, with net income rising slightly to $606 million in the quarter.

The total number of postpaid net additions in the quarter was 66,186 compared to 96,390 last year, while prepaid customer continue to diminish, shedding 24,755 customers. Bell now has a wireless subscriber base of 7,804,087 (increased 1.1% in the quarter) — postpaid customers now sitting at 6,777,842 and its accumulated prepaid subscribers are 1,026,245.

Smartphone adoption continues to rise, with the percentage of postpaid smartphone subscribers at 75% (5,083,381), compared to 67% at the end of Q2 2013. Blended ARPU is at $59.49/month, comparable with Rogers and Telus.

Bell has been pushing its Mobile TV offering at every opportunity and its “industry-leading” service now has 1,472,000 subscribers, up 68% during the same time last year. Bell also noted that its LTE network plans to “cover more than 98% of Canadians by the end of 2015.”

George Cope, President and CEO of BCE, said, “Bell’s commitment to deliver the best communications networks, service and content to Canadians everywhere is driving positive momentum across our wireless, wireline and media operations. Rapid expansion of our mobile 4G LTE network, including to hundreds of small towns and rural communities across Canada, is promoting smartphone use and growing Bell’s lead in mobile TV and other data services.”

Finally, Bell assumes that going forward there will be “no material financial, operational and competitive consequences of adverse changes in regulations affecting our wireless business.” In other words, it isn’t cowering in fear of Videotron or Wind obtaining enough spectrum to set the industry alight.

Source: Bell

  • wacom

    lesser of the two evils…

  • It’s Me

    “higher average rate plan pricing resulting from the elimination of 3-year contracts.” This is the first time Bell or any other incumbent carrier has remarked that two-year contracts are actually better for their bottom line.”

    I wish they would all be honest and stop trying to blame the higher rate plan pricing on the 2 year terms. The switch to 2 years accounts for, at most, $5-$8/month increase. The $20-$50 increases we saw have almost nothing to do with the 2 year terms.

    Of course ARPU and revenue went up. They massively raised rates across the board.

  • beyond

    GO BELL!!!!

    • Ulysses Grant

      Go Bell, continue ripping your customers off…

    • Buzz88

      I think he forgot the “to hëll” part in the middle.

    • Ulysses Grant

      or Go to Hell Bell…

    • Lucas

      So you’re happy about higher plan prices?

  • wacom

    this is why i use (passing) wind mobile

    • MassDeduction

      Luck you. Some of us don’t have that option, they don’t have coverage where I live. I’d strongly consider them if they did.

  • MrHomz

    606 million, that’s about half of my last month’s Bell bill

    • Martini

      I laughed.

  • d094

    4 BYOD phones unlimited talk &text, with 10GB data….
    Bell = $265/month
    AT&T = $160/month
    Tmobile USA = $100/month
    and to top it off AT&T and Tmobile are international text and bell is Canada only.

    • Nexzen

      $35 on wind.

    • d094

      These are nationwide carriers and I’m assuming you mean per phone….that would be $140.

    • Dave

      With wind you are contract free

    • d094

      Apparently you and Nexzen have trouble reading… My post was comparing 4 byod phones… byod as in you bought it contract free…

    • MassDeduction

      I read it correctly, but it was a bit clunky. It would have been cleared had you changed:

      “4 BYOD phones unlimited talk &text, with 10GB data….”
      “4x BYOD lines with unlimited talk & text and 10GB data….”

      IMO, of course.

    • d094


    • astroboy99

      Not sure where you get $160 at AT&T numbers from? Just looking at it and for 4 phones and same spec is $260. $100 pkg plus $40 per phone access fee

    • d094

      Byod = $15 not 40

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    606 million net profit for the quarter! disgusting.

    • neo905

      Here is some sage advice. Own the preferred shares of these companies (Oil, banks, telcoms, etc.) and call it a day. Then you don’t care as much. Too many people on here complain about X company when they could be part of the investor class and benefit from it. I don’t own anything that is Bell except their stock, so really I own them (-;

    • Ulysses Grant

      Capitalism at its best!

    • 5Gs

      Yeah that is how they let you think you own them. When times are bad you will be left with no monies while Bell Change their name to Bella. Do not be fool.

      Seriously you think they need your money ?

    • neo905

      You are the fool if you think Bell would act like a fly by night operation. Change their name when times are bad? You do know there was a financial meltdown in 2008-2009 right. It was the worst since the Great Depression. Wouldn’t that qualify as ” bad times”. The issue is people buy to much stuff and don’t actually use their money to grow their money. And just come on here and complain about capitalism when we are as much socialist as capitalist. It’s not about whether they need my money.It is about building wealth and growing my money instead of complain ing about companiesthat do. I actually bought in 2009 during those “bad times” and have been rewarded for it.

    • 5Gs

      Oh wow and people like you think 2008-2009 depression is over lmao. Wait and watch. We are still in depression and if you don’t believe me then look around the world and see what’s going on. Open your eyes. Don’t believe in hearing things. Look around you and try to make sense out of the situation.

    • neo905

      Sigh. What I said was it was the worse downturn SINCE the Great Depression. QE1, QE2 and QE3 from the Federal Reserve that has expanded their balance sheet from $500 million to $4 trillion has prevented their corporations and stock market from imploding. Their zero rate policy has allowed corporations to borrow money on the cheap and put it into M&A activity and buybacks that are at record levels which also boost stock prices. The government national debt has more than doubled since 2008 which includes a $1 trillion dollars a year on government assistance because there is now a quasi permanent under class that will take decades if ever to recover. They carry SNAP credit cards at grocery stores instead of the visual in the Depression of long lines for soup kitchens. The Federal Reserve and US governments objective is to mask what is going on until underlying organic growth takes place which could take a decade or more and paper over with more debt, which will eventually lead to another crisis down the road. That said, Japan has been doing what the U.S. has been doing monetarily for 20 years now and they haven’t collapsed again so the situation can continue for a very long time, as the standard of living worsens. So what we have is a recovery on wall street but main street never recovered from what occurred in 2008. I understand FULLY everything that happened and is happening. Again, what does all that have to do with Bell’s profits? You don’t like the company. Choose another one for your telco services. You don’t like the stock, then don’t buy it or sell it. You don’t like the system, move to another country under a different one and see if you like Totalitarianism, or communism or a monarchy and see how you enjoy living in those conditions. You wait and watch and get left behind and I will live and move forward.

    • It’s Me

      I have nothing against them making money. That’s why they exist. If I was a shareholder, I’d wonder if it was better that they continue to try to bleed as much out of each customer as possible or for them to instead try winning more customers for higher overall revenue.

      Telus, of the 3, seems to have put more emphasis on the 2nd option than the other two (although the first option is still the overriding directive) and has gone from #3 to number 2. If I was a Bell shareholder, I would wonder why that happened. And if I was a Rogers shareholder, I would be pissed at the exceptionally slow growth they have reported over the last few years, relative to almost every other carrier.

      As a shareholder, I would wonder if the continued abuse of customers and their good will is the best long term goal and whether such abuses for short term profitability is going to poison the well going forward.

    • MassDeduction

      You’d rather your wireless carrier fail like Clearnet, Fido, Public Mobile, or (soon) Mobilicity?

    • Generalissimo_S

      Yes, let’s regulate company profit!!1

  • Buzz88

    Thanks Bell, it makes me feel SO good that you had a banner quarter by boning me!

  • Buzz88

    Thanks James Moore MP, your increased competition promises are working out swimmingly

  • AGoodM8

    Well the big 3 seem determined to have their way. It’s rather apparent that the wireless telecommunications industry in Canada is (frankly) a hell hole for consumers.