Following the Rogers report, it was Bell’s turn to report its third-quarter earnings today. In line with a previous report forecasting strong quarterly results, Bell posted strong revenue for the third quarter, but a particular highlight was the impressive growth in wireless subscribers.
In terms of revenue, Bell has reported operating revenues of $1.8 billion for the three months ending September, up from $1.7 billion a year ago. Wireless service revenue increased by 5.7% to $1,711 million, due to the larger postpaid subscriber base.
The incumbent added 107,265 net postpaid wireless subscribers and lost only slightly more than 7,000 prepaid customers. This represents Bell’s best Q3 result since 2012. Rogers has reported the addition of 116,000 postpaid customers for the third quarter.
As a result, Bell’s postpaid customers totalled 7,578,334 at the end of September, up 4.0% compared to last year, pushing the total number of Bell Wireless customers to 8,380,949, up 2.4%. Postpaid subscribers with smartphones now account for 82% of the total, up from 78% in Q3 last year, while the proportion of postpaid subscribers on LTE reached 78%, up from 63%, according to the Bell press release.
Blended ARPU, a key metric in the wireless segment, was up 3.7% to $67.76, due to the higher percentage of customers on two-year plans, a larger smartphone user base and increased data usage on Bell’s 4G LTE and LTE-A mobile networks.
Bell also announced that it is the first Canadian TV service provider to offer television on Apple TV. The Fibe TV app is available in Ontario and Québec, and offers access to up to 450 channels live or on demand, top trending shows with recordings, and pause and rewind live TV is coming later this year.