The Big 3 wireless carriers (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) literally dominate Canadian wireless. Combined they control 95% of the Canadian wireless market, which represents over 24 million of the 26 million wireless subscribers. The others, such as WIND Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile, Videotron, SaskTel and MTS own the rest. Each carrier has their corporate strategy to bring in new customers – could be lower plans, new devices, customer service or expanding LTE coverage.
Over the years we’ve heard many carrier claims – fewest dropped calls, fastest network and most reliable. A strategy that Rogers enjoys using is claiming to be Canada’s innovative carrier and be first to introduce new products to market. Yesterday, Rob Bruce, President of Rogers Communications, proudly stated that they have been first to bring high-definition television to Canada, the first to launch HSPA+ in North America, first to launch the BlackBerry, iPhone and Android in Canada, first to launch and LTE network in Canada, and recently the first to announce a mobile payment strategy.
However, TELUS, Canada’s third largest wireless carrier, also has a bunch of firsts. Today at the Canadian Telecom Summit Robert McFarlane, Exec VP & CFO of TELUS, stated their numbers one’s take a different shape, which is in results. According to his presentation, TELUS’ recent #1’s are the following:
– Consolidated revenue growth
– Wireless external revenue growth
– Wireless EBITDA growth
– Total wireless subscriber net adds
– Wireless postpaid net adds
– Average revenue per subscriber unit (ARPU)
– Blended wireless churn
– TV subscriber net adds
– High-speed Internet net adds
– Network access line erosion
TELUS’ Q1 2012 numbers brought them to hit 7.36 million subscribers (63K net postpaid) and increased in overall revenue of 4% to total $2.6 billion, blended ARPU rose to $58.87. As for Rogers, their Q1 2012 results saw blended ARPU fall $2.26 $57.65, subscriber base rise to 9.31 million, but net postpaid additions were 47,000. However, Bell Q1 subscriber base increased to 7,406,155, up 2.2%, with blended ARPU reaching $53.84/month.
It’ll be interesting to see if TELUS can manage to overtake Bell and become Canada’s second largest wireless player. Upcoming devices are the Galaxy S III, a few entry level Androids, the Nokia Lumia 610 and we’re also hearing the HTC One X will find its way to the friendly network soon.