Rogers 2011 Q4 Wireless Growth was Limited by a Constrained iPhone 4S Supply

Rogers has announced their 2011 Q4 earnings, and like Bell and Telus, smartphones once again have driven growth. They added 42,000 new wireless subscribers (a 7% decrease compared to the year ago quarter) as a result of smartphone and iPhone activations, with a 2% increase in wireless revenue. Here are some other numbers:

  • Data revenue is the lion’s share of wireless as it increased by 19%, making it account for 37% of total wireless revenue.
  • 791,000 smartphones activated; 35% were new subscribers predominantly to the iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones
  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)  declined by $2.49 to $58.82 from the year ago quarter
  • $238 million spent on handset subsidies to retain customers
Rogers earlier warned their 2011 Q4 earnings would be below estimates due to rising competition from new entrants and other carriers, and some analysts were quick to jump on the decline in wireless performance, which was affected by a decline in voice revenue:

“In summary this was a truly poor quarter at Rogers Wireless,” wrote Dvai Ghose, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, in a note to clients.

However, Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed notes the reason for the limited wireless growth–the lack of iPhone 4S supply, even as they had 34% of postpaid growth among the ‘Big 3’:

“And frankly could have generated even higher growth adds if we had not been constrained on supply of the iPhone 4S during the quarter,” he said in describing “a relatively balanced set of financial and subscriber results.”

Other highlights of the quarter include the continued expansion of Rogers’ LTE network across Canada, soon to reach 20 million Canadians.

[via Rogers]