Canada telecoms show strong wireless, landline growth

Thu Nov 6, 2014 5:54pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Two of Canada's largest telecom companies, Telus Corp and BCE Inc, reported strong wireless growth on Thursday and an expanding Internet-based TV presence in the third quarter, a period in which their cable rivals struggled.

Quarterly results from regional telecom Quebecor Inc also exceeded expectations as the company, which has extensive cable exposure, held off BCE and Telus's TV expansion.

Telus took the lion's share of net new contract wireless subscribers in the quarter, winning 113,000 of those lucrative customers, who typically pay more to use high-end smartphones. BCE, which operates under the Bell brand, said it signed up almost 91,000 such customers.

By comparison, Rogers Communications Inc, Canada's largest cable company and the wireless market leader, said in it quarterly results last month that it won just 17,000 such customers in the period.

"Bell and Telus are not sitting on the side letting Rogers get back on its feet," Desjardins analyst Maher Yaghi said by phone. "Telus and BCE's pricing is more competitive, and on the customer retention side Bell and Telus are doing a much better job than Rogers," he said.

Bell said its average wireless customer paid C$61.73 a month, compared with C$60.96 at Rogers and C$64.51 at Telus.

LANDLINE GROWTH   Continued...

A woman uses a mobile device while walking past a Telus store in Ottawa February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie