Telus reports 111,000 mobile phone net additions in Q3 2020

The carrier's net income decreased 27 percent compared to the same period a year ago


Vancouver-based national carrier Telus had 111,000 mobile phone net additions in Q3 2020, which is the same number it reported in Q3 2019.

Telus added a total of 198,000 new wireless, internet, TV and security customers in the quarter. This includes the 111,000 mobile phone net additions, along with 87,000 mobile connected devices.

For context, connected devices are any device other than a mobile phone with its own SIM or IMEI number. These data-centric devices include tablets, internet keys, Internet of Things, wearables, and connected automobile systems.

“Our total wireless subscriber base of 10.6 million is up 4.9 percent over the last twelve months, reflecting a 2.3 percent increase in our mobile phones subscriber base to 8.9 million and a 20.3 percent increase to our mobile connected devices subscriber base to over 1.7 million,” Telus outlined in the earnings report.

The carrier’s mobile phone ABPU (average billing per unit) for the quarter was $71.39, reflecting a 4.9 percent decrease from the same period a year ago.

Telus notes that the decrease reflects the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as reduced roaming revenue, the temporary closure of around 90 percent of its conventional retail stores and decreases in chargeable data usage as more work from home and offload their mobile devices onto Wi-Fi networks.

“Mobile phone ABPU was also impacted by continued declines in chargeable data usage, and the impact of the competitive environment putting pressure on base rate plan prices in the current and prior periods,” the carrier stated.

Telus reported a mobile phone ARPU (average revenue per unit) of $58.53, which is a five percent decrease from Q3 2019. The carrier says that mobile ARPU was impacted by the same reasons that affected ABPU.

Mobile phone churn rate was 0.99 percent, compared to the 1.09 percent reported in the same period a year ago. Churn rate is the percentage of subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions in a month.

The carrier says that the churn rate reflects “the impacts of reduced switching activity between carriers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the quarter, Telus’ operating revenue totalled to $3.98 billion, which is a 7.7 percent increase from the $3.69 billion it reported in the same period a year ago.

Its net income for the quarter totalled to $321 million, a decrease of 27 percent from the $440 million that was reported in the same period a year ago.