Canadian quadruple-play group Rogers Communications has reported that its consolidated operating revenue fell slightly year-on-year in Q1 2014, to CAD3.020 billion (USD2.740 billion), down from CAD3.027 billion in the same period of 2013, reflecting a 2% decline in wireless revenue, offset by growth at Rogers’ Business Solutions (up 1%) and Media (up 8%) divisions, while its Cable division’s turnover was virtually flat in the quarter. The decline at Wireless was mainly related to pricing changes associated with new ‘customer-friendly’ simplified plans and lower priced roaming plans introduced in mid-2013, while the flat Cable revenue was mainly a result of continued internet turnover growth offsetting cable television subscriber losses. Wireless data revenue grew 10% in Q1 2014, exceeding voice revenue for the first time and now representing approximately 51% of total mobile network revenue. Rogers activated 579,000 smartphones in January-March, of which 30% were new subscribers, and smartphone customers now make up 76% of the operator’s post-paid mobile subscribers. Consolidated net income fell by 13% year-on-year to CAD307 million in the first quarter.
Rogers also announced that it has augmented its commercial 4G LTE mobile services with the switch-on of 700MHz frequencies, beginning in selected Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto communities. ‘During the first quarter, we made a significant investment in ‘beachfront property’ 700MHz spectrum to give our customers an unsurpassed wireless experience,’ said Guy Laurence, CEO of Rogers Communications. Rogers says it will continue to roll out 700MHz coverage in both rural and urban markets nationwide, while the majority of its LTE devices on offer support the band.