Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH)-based IPTV service Fibe TV helped Bell Canada offset ongoing declines in its traditional wireline business in the first quarter.
Bell Canada added 54,680 net new Fibe TV customers in the first quarter, a 15.2 percent increase over the first quarter of 2013. The Canadian telco now has 534,110 Fibe TV customers across a footprint which grew by more than a million homes to reach 4.5 million by the end of the first quarter. High-speed Internet net customer additions increased almost four times year-over-year from 3,952 to 15,627 as the carrier ended the quarter with 2.2 million high-speed subscribers.
Overall Bell wireline operating revenues decreased 1.8 percent to $2.46 million in the quarter while wireline data revenue was up 2.1 percent to $1.46 million.
In the non-wireline TV segment, the carrier reported that Bell Satellite TV losses improved 22 percent to 26,119 as fewer retail customers deactivated service "despite aggressive customer conversion offers from cable TV competitors."
The end result was a net increase of 28,561 Bell TV subscribers and a subscriber base of 2.307 million TV subscribers for the Canadian telco.
Additionally, Bell Aliant revenues were down 1.2 percent to $676 million from $684 million thanks to declines in voice revenues and the "adverse revenue impact from intense competitive pricing in both its consumer and business markets that were not fully offset by continued solid growth in data service (Internet and TV) revenues, the carrier said in the press release.
Overall, Bell Canada reported a 4.4 percent increase in operating revenues to $4.54 billion.
"Bell's strategic investments in advanced broadband networks and services, improved customer service and Canadian content development (via Bell Media) are driving the growth services--wireless, TV, Internet and media--that are rapidly transforming our business," George Cope, president and CEO of BCE and Bell said in the press release.
Cope specifically called out Fibe TV's contributions.
"Fast-growing Fibe TV is increasing Bell's share of the household as it drives significant gains in high-speed Internet additions and reductions in home phone losses," he said.
- see this earnings release
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