Bell CEO Optimistic Ottawa Will Change Wireless Policy
Bell’s George Cope appears to be confident that Ottawa will change its wireless policy. He — alongside other incumbents — will use every available tool to push the government in this direction. And as we witnessed recently, their creativity seems to have no limits.
“The final decision won’t rest with BCE (TSX:BCE), it’ll rest with our government, and I’m hopeful they’ll see the unfairness to our shareholders, customers and Canadians in this policy,” George Cope told analysts Thursday reports the Montreal Gazette.
“We will use every avenue we can in a professional way to pursue this.”
Cope’s comments come after higher revenues, but declining profits for the wireless player. Also, Bell boosted its wireless subscriber base by 3.5% compared to a year ago, as it now counts 7.9 million subscribers.
As Bell quarterly earnings show, growing smartphone usage has resulted in higher data usage and higher revenues: wireless data revenue grew 21.1% in Q2 and now represents more than 40% of the total wireless service revenues.
From this perspective, it is clear why the big three have launched an aggressive campaign against Verizon, the “red devil”, who may cause job loss and leak out all telephony metadata to the NSA if it enters Canada, as the recent Telus punch post suggests.
Considering that data now accounts for 40% of total wireless revenue, a competitive player would heavily affect the revenue of any of the Big Three. If the deep-pocketed Verizon comes into Canada, there will be a “wireless bloodbath”. Yeah, the big three will finally get a sense of what competition really means.
So they are pushing for the government to change its wireless policy, which, as we pointed out earlier, is a common policy in developed countries that value their citizens.