Canadian cable and wireless group Rogers Communications posted a 5% year-on-year drop in total revenue to CAD3.416 billion (USD2.410 billion) in the first quarter of 2020, while its adjusted quarterly EBITDA was flat at CAD1.335 billion. Q1 mobile revenues were down 5% to CAD2.077 billion – including mobile service revenue down 2% at CAD1.712 billion – resulting from a decrease in user overage fees due to strong customer adoption of Rogers Infinite unlimited data plans, and lower roaming revenue due to less travel as COVID-19 restrictions took effect (while certain services were provided to customers at no cost starting 16 March). Post-paid net customer losses reached 6,000 during the three months ended 31 March 2020, compared to 23,000 net additions in 1Q19, although total post-paid subscribers grew by 252,000 y-o-y to 9.432 million. Total pre-paid subscribers fell to 1.336 million at end-March 2020, compared to 1.570 million a year earlier. Earlier in that month, Rogers activated Canada’s first 5G network services in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal for Rogers Infinite customers on Samsung Galaxy S20 5G devices.
Q1 cable division revenues were stable at CAD973 million (CAD976 million a year ago) as Rogers added 17,000 net new broadband internet subscribers during the three-month period, bringing the total base to 2.551 million, up by 107,000 y-o-y. The company suspended all overage fees for home internet customers as the COVID-19 crisis developed, and it reported that total traffic on its networks rose by over 50% as businesses and consumers shifted to home working/learning and higher online entertainment/social usage.
Rogers stated that it has withdrawn its 2020 financial guidance given the uncertainty associated with the impacts of COVID-19.