Montreal-based national carrier Bell added 204,067 total wireless subscribers in Q3 2019, a 14.8 percent increase to now have a total of 9,834,380 wireless subscribers.
In its third-quarter earnings results that were released on October 31st, the carrier said that of the new net additions, 127,172 were postpaid, which was down from the 135,323 postpaid subscribers it added in the same period a year ago. It noted that 76,895 were prepaid subscribers, which grew from the 42,511 prepaid net additions it had in the same period a year ago.
“Wireless subscriber net additions were up 14.8 percent…our best-ever Q3 performance and highest quarterly result in 13 years, reflecting continued reduction in postpaid churn and an 80.9 percent year-over-year increase in prepaid net additions as our low-cost Lucky Mobile brand continues to re-define the prepaid segment,” Mirko Bibic, Bell’s chief operating officer, said in the earnings.
Bell signed an exclusive partnership with all Dollarama stores across the country in May 2019 to sell Lucky Mobile and Virgin Mobile SIM cards for $4 CAD.
Bell attributed the fall in postpaid subscribers as a reflection of “year-over-year customer additions from our long-term mobile services contract with Shared Services Canada.”
It said that excluding this, “postpaid net additions were higher than last year, reflecting Bell’s mobile network quality, strong retail channel sales execution and continued focus on subscriber base management.”
Total wireless subscribers grew 3.7 percent, it noted.
Bell said it’s blended Average Billing Per User (ABPU) increased 0.9 percent to $69.93, “despite the impact of unlimited data plans on data overage revenue.”
Shortly after Rogers launched its unlimited data plans in June, Bell launched unlimited data plans.
On postpaid churn rate, the carrier reported an increase of 0.02 percentage points to 1.12 percent. Churn rate reflects the percent at which customers leave a carrier to go to one of its competitors.
Bell noted that its overall operating revenue was $5.98 billion in Q3 2019, a 1.8 percent increase from the $5.87 billion that was reported in the same period a year ago.
Its net earnings in the quarter totalled to $922 million, a 6.3 percent increase from the $867 million that was reported in the same period a year ago.