Telus adds 82,000 mobile wireless subscribers in Q2 2019

Vancouver-based national carrier Telus reported 82,000 net additions of mobile phone wireless customers to have a total wireless subscriber base of 9.9 million in Q2 2019.

The 9.9 includes mobile phone and mobile connected subscribers, Telus said.

This growth is significant compared to Q1 2019, in which Telus reported it only added 11,000 new mobile wireless subscribers.

In its quarterly earnings report that was released on August 2nd, the carrier said wireless subscriber growth was a 5.4 percent increase over the last 12 months, that includes a 3.2 percent increase in mobile wireless customers and a 21 percent increase in mobile connected device customers.

It reported that it now has net additions of 72,000 mobile connected device customers.

Connected devices are any device other than a mobile phone with its own SIM or IMEI number. These data-centric devices include tablets, internet keys, Internet of Things, wearables, connected automobile systems. In addition, Telus has a direct billing or support relationship with the user of each device.

Telus said the growth in mobile wireless subscribers can be attributed to “higher gross additions from growth in high-value customer additions, including demographic shifts, and growth, in the Canadian population, as well as successful promotions and expanded channels.”

Telus’ operating revenue in the quarter was $3.6 billion, which is an increase of 4.2 percent over the same period a year ago. The company noted this is “driven by both wireless and wireline data services revenue growth.”

For the quarter, Telus’ net income was $520 million, an increase of 31 percent over the same period a year ago.

External wireless revenue increased by $54 million, which Telus said reflects network revenue growth of 1.7 percent or $26 million and equipment and other service revenue grew 7.3 percent or $31 million.

“Network revenue growth was driven by a 5.4 percent increase in our subscriber base, partly offset by lower mobile phone [Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)] from declining chargeable data usage, the competitive environment and changes in our customer mix,” Telus said.

The carrier said that the mobile phone Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for Q2 2019 was $60.30, which declined by 1.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago. It said this is attributed to the “declines in chargeable data usage and competitive pressures on base rate plan prices and changes in our customer mix.”

The mobile phone Average Billing Per User (ABPU) totalled to $73.43, which increased this quarter by 0.5 percent “as growth from customers selecting plans with larger data buckets or periodically topping up their data buckets, the introduction of our Platinum rate plan and higher-value smartphones in the sales mix.”

The churn rate for mobile phone subscribers, or the rate at which a customer leaves a carrier for one of its competitors, was reported at 1.01 percent, a slight increase by two basis points of the same period a year ago.