Wireless and data gains posted by Telus, Bell Aliant, MTS

5 Nov 2007

Canadian telcos Telus, Bell Aliant and MTS Allstream have posted third quarter financial and operating results, with wireless and data/internet customer and revenue gains featuring highly in all. Vancouver-based Telus reported that revenue in the three months ended September 2007 increased 4.5% to CAD2.31 billion (USD2.47 billion) compared to a year ago, driven by 9% growth in both wireless and wireline data revenue, partially offset by declines in local and long-distance wireline turnover. EBITDA increased 3.6% year-on-year to CAD987 million due to 8% and 1% increases in wireless and wireline EBITDA, respectively. Telus added 31,300 net new high speed internet subscribers in the July-September quarter, raising its broadband subscriber base to 994,000, up 14% year-on-year, whilst its total number of fixed access lines declined by 35,000 in three months. At Telus’s wireless division, net subscriber additions in the third quarter were 134,500, a 2.0% decrease from the same quarter in 2006, and revenues increased by 9.4% year-on-year to CAD1.1 billion. Wireless data revenue increased by CAD42 million, or 56%, due to the ‘migration to full function personal data devices and increased text messaging’, according to the company’s statement, whilst ARPU decreased by 1.3% y-o-y to CAD64.80 as a result of downward competitive pressure on voice call tariffs. The data component of Telus’s ARPU increased annually by 41% to CAD7.20.

Eastern Canadian telco Bell Aliant’s 3Q07 turnover increased by 1.6% year-on-year to CAD837.9 million, with 9.0% growth in data and internet revenues, and an EBITDA increase of CAD5.7 million (1.6%) to CAD372.4 million. Winnipeg, Manitoba-based MTS-Allstream’s total 3Q revenue dipped to CAD475.9 million from CAD477.9 million a year ago, but it said revenue from ‘growth services’, such as wireless, internet and IPTV offerings, rose 13.2%. The ‘growth’ revenues also contributed 41% of MTS’s total, compared with 36% in the same period of last year. MTS, despite its regional scope, leads Canada’s fledgling IPTV market, with a confirmed 75,000 MTS TV subscribers; IPTV is also offered by Telus, Bell Aliant and SaskTel, with Bell Canada having rolled out a service only to selected apartment buildings in Toronto and Montreal.