Bell’s wireless operating revenues grew 4.5% to 1.47 billion, up from $1.4 billion in the same period last year, according to Canada’s third-largest wireless carrier’s first-quarter 2014 results reported today.
As of the end of the first quarter of this year, Bell has a total of 7,762,656 customers, up 1.2%, of which postpaid customers total 6.711,656. However, as the press release highlights, postpaid net addition dropped 6.8% to 33,964 from 59,497 recorded a year prior. The company attributes this to slower overall market growth as a result of the higher-rate plan pricing of 2-year contracts. On the other hand, prepaid net subscriber losses improved 27.5% y-o-y to 49,692, due to fewer customer deactivations.
Of the total postpaid activations, smartphones accounted for 74%, up 3% compared to Q1 of 2013, and the percentage of postpaid subscribers with smartphones also increased, to 74% as of March 31 2014, which compares to the 65% reported for the same period a year ago.
On the revenue side, Bell announced that blended average revenue per user (ARPU) is up 3.5% to $57.90, growth attributed to growing smartphone penetration, which, of course, drives up data usage. Wireless data revenue is up 17.5%.
It is also worth mentioning that Bell Mobile TV reached 1,335,000 subscribers in Q1 2014, a tremendous growth from the 800,000 recorded the same time last year. Mobile video streams grew 22.5%, to 10.6 million, which included major events such as the Super Bowl and Sochi 2014.