Rogers Wireless tops 9 million subscribers

Rogers Communications Inc.

Rogers Communications yesterday announced its first quarter 2011 financial results. Overall revenues topped CA$2.9 billion with wireless contributing over CA$1.7 billion.

“The first quarter results represent a healthy start to 2011 for Rogers,” said Nadir Mohamed, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Communications Inc. “We’ve maintained solid top line growth rates as a result of continued investments in our customer relationships, networks and products supported by a sharp focus on wireless data and subscriber retention initiatives. While at the same time, our successful focus on managing costs has enabled continued strong margins and the generation of substantial free cash flow.”

Rogers topped the 9 million subscriber mark for the first time with the net addition of about 35,000 new subscribers. The loss of about 10,000 prepaid customers was offset by the gain of 45,000 postpaid customers. It also activated and upgraded approximately 534,000 smartphones (predominately iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices) in the quarter.

This resulted in subscribers with smartphones representing 45% of the overall postpaid subscriber base as at March 31, 2011, compared to 33% as at March 31, 2010. These subscribers generally commit to new multi-year-term contracts, and typically generate ARPU nearly twice that of voice only subscribers. This is the largest number of new smartphone customer additions that Wireless has ever reported in a quarter.

ARPU (Average monthly revenue per user) dropped slightly to CA$59.91. Rogers attributes the decrease to “the creation of voice and data roaming value plans for frequent travelers over the past year and general competitive intensity.”