Shaw announced its Q1 2019 earnings today, noting Freedom Mobile added over 86,000 postpaid wireless subscribers in the quarter.
Freedom Mobile saw its average billing per subscriber unit (ABPU) grow year-over-year to $41.99, while wireless postpaid churn—the rate at which customers left the company—went down to 1.28% from 1.64%, compared to the year-ago quarter.
Consolidated wireless revenue increased 60% in the quarter to $273 million, while service revenue jumped 32% to $167 million, year-over-year.
Shaw says the deployment of its 700 MHz spectrum is about 25% complete, while VoLTE is now being used by about 800,000 wireless users on the network, which includes the latest iPhone models from Apple.
Freedom Mobile says it is set to launch its LTE network in Victoria and Red Deer “in the coming weeks”, while their network footprint now covers nearly 16 million Canadians. For fiscal 2019, the network will reach an additional 1.3 million people, mainly in Western Canada.
During Shaw’s earnings conference call, company CEO Brad Shaw pointed out the company’s wireless network does not use equipment from China’s Huawei, which has been scrutinized by the U.S. and its allies over national security concerns. Telus and Bell are using Huawei networking equipment, and if banned, could cost a reported $1 billion to remove.
On Shaw earnings call, CEO Brad Shaw specifically notes that Freedom Mobile wireless network does not contain any Huawei equipment & that Freedom has partnered with Nokia (this is not new information, but interesting that he took the opportunity to highlight it)
— Christine Dobby (@christinedobby) January 14, 2019
Shaw is working with Nokia for its 5G efforts; both companies completed a successful 5G technical trial last spring.