Bell to Also Launch 36 Month Device Financing; “Intelligent Move” for Consumers: CEO

BCE Inc. announced their Q2 2019 earnings this morning and the company reported strong wireless performance.

According to Bell, they had the “best Q2 total postpaid and prepaid net customer additions since 2001 with 149,478, up 30.6%.”

Their wireless division saw operating revenue of $2.18 billion, up 3.2% over the year ago quarter. Service revenue was at $1.61 billion, up 2.5%, led by “continued postpaid subscriber base expansion and a positive year-over-year revenue contribution from prepaid services.”

Product revenue increased to $571 million, a 5.2% increase, which Bell attributed to higher sales mix of premium smartphones versus the year ago period.

Bell also saw prepaid net additions thanks to Lucky Mobile and their new national retail distribution with Dollarama.

The company’s LTE-A wireless network is now available to 94% of Canadians with speeds of up to 260 Mbps.

“Bell’s strategy to bring the fastest broadband networks and the latest service innovations to Canadians in every region continued to drive strong operating and financial performance across our business in Q2,” said George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, in a statement. “We significantly increased net new subscribers to our wireless, retail Internet and IPTV services, achieved our 4th consecutive quarter of growth in business markets, and again led the Canadian media industry in audience expansion and programming innovation.”

Overall, the company saw net earnings of $817 million for the quarter, up 8.2% year over year.

36 Month Device Financing Coming from Bell Soon

During the Q2 earnings conference call, Bell CEO George Cope responded to questions from Scotiabank analyst, Jeff Fan, to reveal the company is set to eventually roll out 36 month device financing, similar to what Rogers debuted last month.

“We think one of the programs to have that financing over three years is an intelligent move to the consumer market and one that you’ll ultimately see us roll out with as well,” explained Cope, at halfway into the conference call.

According to Cope, Bell will always be reacting to competition change and offer “maximum choice” for consumers.

The CRTC is investigating whether 36 month device financing adheres to the Wireless Code.

Bell recently increased the price of its data overages, while their no overage ‘unlimited’ plans increased in price by $10 versus competitors Rogers and Telus.

Bell Media’s Crave Now Has Nearly 3 Million Subscribers

The company streaming service, Crave, hit 2.7 million subscribers at the end of Q2 2019. Bell said the final season of Game of Thrones was the “most-watched season in speciality pay TV history in Canada.”