Canada’s third largest wireless player has reported its second quarter earnings, and the numbers don’t lie: Bell operating revenues are up 5.1% to $4,649 million, driven by 5.8% growth in service revenues that includes both Bell Wireless and Bell Media.
Regarding the wireless segment of the company, operating revenues are up 5.5% to $1.2 billion in the second quarter of this year-up from $1.4 billion. Service revenues are also up 5.7% to $1.4 billion, largely due to the growing postpaid subscriber base mix and the strong increase in blended ARPU driven by greater data usage and higher average plan pricing.
Since data usage grows, so, consequently, does the wireless data revenue: as Bell highlights, it is up 21%, reflecting increased adoption and usage of smartphones.
Bell added a total of 66,186 postpaid subscribers during the past quarter, compared to the 96,390 added the same period the previous year. The 13.3% drop in lucrative postpaid subscribers can be attributed to slower overall market growth resulting from the end of 3-year contracts.
As of the end of Q2 2014, Bell Wireless has 6,777,842 postpaid customers, up 3% compared to the same period last year, while the total number of subscribers is up 1.1% to 7,804,087.
Blended ARPU is up 4.6% to $59.49, driven by strong data usage on Bell’s expanding 4G LTE network and the favourable ARPU impact of new 2-year contract pricing.