Freedom Mobile Triples New Subscribers In Effort To Take On Big Telcos

A Shaw Communications sign at the company's headquarters in Calgary, Wed. Jan. 14, 2015. The arrival of Apple devices at Freedom Mobile last month has transformed the way it's competing against Canada's three big national wireless carriers, Shaw Communications said Thursday.

The arrival of Apple devices at Freedom Mobile last month has transformed the way it’s competing against Canada’s three big national wireless carriers, Shaw Communications said Thursday after it reported a big boost in wireless subscribers in the quarter before it landed the iPhone.

The Calgary-based cable, internet and satellite company is a relatively new player in Canada’s wireless market but Shaw president Jay Mehr told analysts he thinks Freedom Mobile is ready to take on the Big Three.

“It does feel like a new business, starting in December,” Mehr said on a conference call to discuss Shaw’s results for its fiscal 2018 first quarter, ended Nov. 30 — just prior to the addition of Apple’s products to its lineup for the first time.

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Among other things, Shaw added 34,000 wireless subscribers during the months of September, October and November, bringing its total number of wireless customers to 1.18 million.

Analysts said Shaw’s overall results were mixed, with weakness in its main wireline business offsetting wireless growth.

Wireless revenue climbed 26.8 per cent to $175 million, while wireline revenue fell 0.4 per cent to $1.08 billion as the number of wireline subscribers fell by approximately 34,000 in the quarter.

The quarter’s wireless additions were more than triple the 9,500 net additions in the comparable months of 2016, which was a low point for Shaw since it bought Wind Mobile on March 1, 2016.

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Mehr said that the arrival of Apple at the beginning of this year’s fiscal second quarter, which began Dec. 1 has “changed all aspects” of Shaw’s wireless business — now named Freedom.

Until reaching its first commercial deal with Apple, Freedom sold few phones and focused almost entirely on customers who used their own devices (BYOD) and generated about $37 per month in average revenue per user (ARPU). It began upgrading its network to fourth-generation standards last year, allowing it to offer Apple products.

With the arrival of the iPhone, which can only work on the portions of Freedom’s network that has been upgraded, Shaw is aiming to push Freedom’s ARPU above $50 per month.

“In Q2, we haven’t put any energy into BYOD … It’s hard to say two things at once and we’ve been saying iPhone as loudly as anyone will listen,” …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Business

      

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