Bell Canada (including Bell Mobility and Bell Media) has posted a 12.6% year-on-year increase in fourth-quarter revenues to CAD4.58 billion (USD4.60 billion), as revenues from wireless, broadcasting and internet offset declines in fixed telephony and business data services. EBITDA was also boosted by wireless and Bell Media performance, rising by 10.3% year-on-year in October-December 2011 to CAD1.55 billion. In full-year 2011 revenues climbed 9.3% to CAD17.13 billion, while EBITDA rose 8.6% to CAD6.31 billion. Wireless revenues were up 5.9% and 6.6% in Q4 and FY11 respectively, with EBITDA up 9.6% and 6.1%, while post-paid net mobile subscriber additions in Q4 totalled 131,986, with smartphone users accounting for 48% of total post-paid subscribers by the end of the year, compared to 31% at end-2010. Blended mobile ARPU was up 4.1% year-on-year in 4Q11, to CAD54.50.
Bell also announced an expansion of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network to seven additional urban centres, raising the total to 14. Bell Mobility customers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Halifax, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Belleville and Yellowknife can now access LTE services on smartphones, 4G modems and tablet computers, adding to Bell’s existing LTE footprint covering Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, London, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Bell’s network offers peak LTE download capability of 75Mbps, and the company plans to expand LTE to more cities in 2012, and to rural and remote locations across Canada pending the outcome of the federal government’s 700MHz spectrum auction policy decision.
China’s Huawei announced this week that it has won a contract with Bell Mobility to provide LTE radio access network equipment for its continued expansion. ‘LTE significantly enhances the quality of the customer experience – it is the future of the global wireless industry,’ said Sean Yang, president of Huawei Canada.