Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS Allstream) has reported a 6.5% year-on-year drop in consolidated revenues (including Manitoban and national ‘Allstream’ services) to CAD406.7 million (USD404.9 million) in the first quarter of 2013, which it attributed mostly to legacy revenue declines, including CAD14.1 million in planned reductions at Allstream, and a CAD4.8 million reduction in MTS wireless wholesale revenues as other carriers move their customers from MTS’s legacy CDMA network in Manitoba to their own HSPA networks. Consolidated EBITDA in January-March 2013 reached CAD148.6 million, up 0.5% over Q1 2012, reflecting the positive impact of cost reductions and improving margins at Allstream, partly offset by legacy and wireless wholesale declines. Quarterly CAPEX was CAD66.7 million, down 13.3% from Q1 2012, mostly due to decreased spend from previously-completed projects such as investments in upgrades to the wireless billing system and LTE wireless technology in Winnipeg and Brandon, and the completion of the 100G core network upgrade initiative at Allstream.
MTS also announced that as part of its CAD100 million 2013 network spending programme for Manitoba, more than CAD40 million will be invested in upgrades and enhancements in its rural telecommunications infrastructure, including fixed and mobile broadband. MTS will this year expand its 4G LTE wireless network to six more communities, including Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Ste. Anne, Victoria Beach and Grand Beach; LTE is currently available to 60% of Manitoba’s population, including Winnipeg and Brandon. MTS is also bringing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) under its ‘FiON’ banner to an additional 5,000 homes throughout the province, having so far launched FTTH in nine rural communities, with plans to expand to three more communities in 2013, including Beausejour, Lorette and Stonewall. Approximately 20,000 homes in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg currently have access to the FiON network. MTS will also expand DSL internet to 20 new communities in 2013, adding to the 195 communities already connected. Some of the communities that will benefit from this investment include Wabowden, Buffalo Point, Roseau River First Nation, Fisher River, Langruth, Victoria Beach, Grand Beach, West Hawk Lake and Falcon Lake.