Bell reports ‘record’ broadband growth in Q3 earnings report

The company said new broadband customers increased by 50 percent in the last year

Bell said it activated a “record” number of new broadband customers in the last year, with 400,000 new activations across its wireline and wireless networks.

The company’s third-quarter results for 2022 show this figure increased by 50 percent year-over-year.

More than 224,000 of the activations came through its mobile phone category, which increased by 64 percent compared to the last quarter.

There were 167,798 new postpaid activations. The figure is driven by more traffic in retail stores, support for 5G, immigration growth, and bundling options. Prepaid subscribers also increased, with activations growing by more than 160 percent compared to the last quarter.

The figures represent the “best ever-mobile phone net subscriber activations,” Bell said in a press release outlining the results.

Bell has more than 9.8 million mobile phone customers across Canada, which grew by 5 percent in the past year.

The results are “firmly placing Bell in a solid competitive position as we head into the end of the year,” Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada, said. 

These numbers will continue to grow, Bibic said during a call discussing the results, not just for Bell but for the entire industry. 

“I don’t say that in a cavalier manner. Just look at the kind of tailwinds that are operating in everyone’s favour. There’s immigration, and the federal government’s indicated that’s gonna continue to grow over the foreseeable future.”

5G growth is another area Bell says it will focus on, given only 35 percent of the company’s subscribers have a device that supports 5G. “There’s a lot of room for growth there,” Bibic said.

Wireline services

The other half of Bell’s new subscribers came through wireline services: 49,044 new subscribers for mobile-connected devices, 89,652 for retail internet and 38,093 new customers for IPTV.

Like growth in its wireless network, Bell says it received the highest number of activations in the last 17 years in its retail internet category. The figure increased by 36 percent, driven by the company expanding its fibre footprint, bundling offers, and seeing an increase in back-to-school activations.

Bell has more than 4 million retail internet subscribers, a 6.6 percent increase year-over-year. Asked if the growth came through Rogers’ July outage, Glen LeBlanc, Bell’s chief financial officer, said it was not the lone factor.

“I wouldn’t interpret the record results as being singularly driven by competitor’s network outage in early July. Actually, the momentum has been there for quite a while, and as the footprint grows, you’re gonna see the momentum continue.”

The company further states it’s on track to complete 80 percent of its broadband internet plan by the end of the year. The project has seen the company provide internet access to thousands of residents in various communities.

Bell reported revenues of over $6 billion, a 3.2 percent increase year-over-year. 

Updated: 04/11/2022 10:59am ET: The article has been updated with the company’s earning information.

Source: Bell