Bell Aliant's wireline voice losses drag down revenues to $698M

Bell Aliant (Toronto: BA-UN.TO) may be making a concerted effort to establish a larger portfolio of next-gen fiber and IP-based services, but wireline voice losses drove down company earnings to CAD 700 million (USD 698 million), down from CAD 704 million (USD 695.7 million) a year earlier.

Bell Aliant Q3 2011 details

Click here for details of Bell Aliant's Q3 2011 earnings results.

In the effort to offset further losses, the Canadian operator has upped its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) plans to reach 450,000 homes and businesses by the end of the year, up from its previous 430,000 estimate.

By the end of 2012, the service provider has set a goal of reaching 600,000 premises with its FTTH service. Ultimately, its goal is to pass between 900,000 to one million homes and businesses with its FTTH network.

"We continued to steadily expand our FTTH footprint this quarter, adding on average over 1,000 homes per day to our coverage area to total 104,000 new homes passed," said Karen Sheriff, president and CEO of Bell Aliant, in the earnings release. "Demand for the service is very strong, with take-rates on both FibreOP Internet and TV higher than we earlier anticipated."

  • Wireline losses: During the quarter, the telco's local and long distance voice revenues declined 3.9 and 4.6 percent, respectively Overall, Network Access Service (NAS) declines were 38,000 in Q3 2011, up from 35,000 from the same quarter a year ago. Ongoing encroachment from competitive threats from cable operators were the main driver of the higher NAS declines.
  • Broadband, Internet services: Broadband data continued to be a star performer in its portfolio. At the end of September 2011, Bell Aliant reported it had 860,000 total subscribers, up 2.7 percent since Q3 2010. On the FTTP side, the telco added 12,000 new FibreOP customers to reach 34,000 at the end of September 2011. A big portion of the FibreOP additions reflected customers that decided to migrate from copper-based DSL and Fiber to the Node (FTTN) networks to the FTTP-based service.
  • Video services: Whether it was delivered over its FTTN or FibreOP FTTP-based network, IPTV revenue reached CAD 12 million (USD 11.85 million) by the end of the third quarter with total IPTV customers of 68,000 at the end of September 2011. During the quarter, Bell Aliant added 9,000 new IPTV customers.

Looking forward, Bell Aliant increased its capex guidance for 2011 from CAD 520 million-560 million (USD 513.7 million-553.2 million), while the other metrics have remained unchanged.

For more:
- see the release

Earnings summary: Wireline in the third quarter 2011

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