Bell posts higher Q3 revenue on strong smartphone penetration, aims to cover whole country in LTE by end of 2015

BCE posted revenues of $5.2 billion in Q3 on strong wireless results. The company earned $600 million in net income, or 77 cents per share, as it increased wireless revenues through “a greater mix of postpaid subscribers in our customer base, strong data revenue growth, and pricing discipline.”

Bell Wireless posts operating revenues of $1.6 billion for the quarter, up 7% from the previous year. The increase was almost entirely due to a boost in data usage, which increased 24% in the quarter on higher handset and plan prices.

The company added 91,000 net postpaid subscribers, a decrease of 1.9% over the previous year, but boasted higher blended ARPU at $61.73. In comparison, TELUS posted blended ARPU of $64.51 and Rogers $60.96.

Bell now has 7.89 million wireless subscribers, of which 87% are postpaid. Postpaid churn was stable at 1.2%, lower than Rogers but significantly higher than TELUS. Bell says that 75% of its postpaid wireless base use smartphones, an increase of 6% from the same period last year.

The company says that LTE speeds have been increased in the quarter due to spectrum aggregation obtained from the 700Mhz auction, and that by the end of 2015 its network will cover 98% of the Canadian population. At the moment, that number is 84%.

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