Bell Says Wireless Data Usage Increased 41% in Q4, Helping Drive Profits

Bell Lg

Following the news of employee cuts in its media division because of the Super Bowl and industry challenges, Bell has announced its fourth-quarter earnings, reporting a strong three-month period for its wireless business.

Bell’s wireless operating revenue grew 6.4% year-over-year to $1.88 billion, based on a 7.2% increase in service revenue to $1.7 billion, the company reported today. The growth was driven by the high mix of postpaid subscribers, according to the press release.

During the quarter, Bell added 112,393 postpaid subscribers, up 23.1% compared to the 91,308 reported for the same quarter last year. For the full year, postpaid net additions were up 18.8% to 315,311 from 265,369 in 2015, Bell said.

As a result, Bell Wireless closed the year with a postpaid customer base of 7,690,727, a 4.3% increase over 2015. Total wireless customers grew 2.7% to 8,468,872. Smartphone owners now account for 83% of Bell’s postpaid subscriber base, up from 78% a year ago. The proportion of postpaid subscribers using LTE reached 81%, up from 68%.

Marketplace success and fast-growing customer usage of Bell’s superior services – including an increase of 41% in total wireless data usage and 31% in broadband Internet compared to Q4 last year – is delivering solid revenue growth. Combined with our team’s disciplined focus on cost efficiency in a competitive marketplace, Bell is delivering ongoing increases in operating profitability, especially in our wireless business which grew service revenue 7.2%, ARPU 4.7%, and adjusted EBITDA 5.1%, said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.

Blended ARPU, a key metric in a carrier’s performance, increased 4.7% to $66.69 in the fourth quarter, driven by the higher postpaid subscriber base, and increased data usage on 4G and LTE-A networks. Looking back to the full year of 2016, Bell says blended ARPU is up 3.8% to $65.46.

According to the carrier, its LTE-A network is now available to 73% of the Canadian population and provides theoretical data download speeds of up to 260 Mbps (expected average 18 to 74 Mbps), while the 4G LTE network had reached 97% of Canadians by the end of the year, with download speeds ranging from 75 Mbps to 150 Mbps (expected average 12 to 40 Mbps).

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • erth

    and, they increased ($) all their plans… adding to the profits as well.

  • mcfilmmakers

    Their plans went up in price and caps werent lifted. I still dont understand why the crtc doesnt mandate an obligation to allow jnlimited data.