Bell’s first quarter 2014 results were released today and from a wireless perspective the carrier reported revenues of $1.472 billion, up 4.5% increase over last year. Much of this was due to the usual attributes from the “higher adoption and usage of smartphones.”
The total wireless subs for BCE (Bell Canada and Bell Aliant) is now sitting at 7,908,596, up 1.2% from Q1 2013. Specifically for Bell Canada, the total customer base rose to 7,762,656 with postpaid customers making up majority of the numbers at 6,711,656. Smartphones users now represent 74% of Bell’s total postpaid subscribers. Blended ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) increased 3.5% to $57.90.
Bell blamed the CRTC’s Wireless Code of Conduct for the “slower overall market growth” and “higher rate-plan pricing on new 2-year contracts,” plus that there was “no iconic handset launches in Q1.” This was true – the GS5 and HTC One M8 were both launched in Q2 so we should see an increase in numbers in the coming months.
During the quarter Bell highlighted that they launched their contactless payment service with RBC, expanded their LTE network to reach 81% of the Canadian population, and purchased 700 MHz spectrum during the wireless auction for $566 million — which they were proudly the first to deploy in Hamilton.
Mobile TV continues to be important for Bell. They now deem themselves as “Canada’s Mobile TV leader” and increased subscribers to 1,335,000, up 67% from last year.