Bell Aliant adds 17,400 IPTV subscribers in fourth quarter


Canadian telco Bell Aliant's emphasis on growing its FTTH network has led to "another year of strong execution" and the addition of 17,400 new IPTV customers in the fourth quarter, the company said in a fourth quarter earnings announcement.

"Our focus has been on expanding our fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) coverage to provide our leading edge FibreOP Internet and TV service to our customers and we are seeing benefits," said Karen Sheriff, Bell Aliant's president-CEO, in a press release.

Those benefits include IPTV revenue that grew CAD 10 million (USD 10.02 million) in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and a base of 123,000 IPTV customers by the end of December. Also gaining from the FTTH network was the company's Internet business, which added 20,200 new customers to reach 112,200 fiber-based broadband customers by the end of December.

Offsetting these gains were continuing losses in more traditional telco businesses. Local service and long-distance revenues declined CAD 15 million (USD 15.03 million) and CAD 10 million (USD 10.02 million) respectively as customers continued to peel off, mostly attracted by the fiber-based broadband offerings, the company said.

"Our FibreOP services are now available to over 650,000 premises in our territories, with over 110,000 customers now subscribing," Sheriff said, promising that the FTTH expansion "will continue in 2013" and is expected to reach about 800,000 premises by year-end.

"This will let us manage the build in an operationally efficient way while focusing on our priority of adding new customers," she said.

Having an IP-based fiber network leads to other services, which, the telco said, are starting to come into their own. These include a "newly announced NextGen Home Security service, which is a natural extension of our ability to leverage our broadband expertise and leadership position to serve the whole home," Sheriff added.

The balance sheet was, on the spectrum of fourth quarter results, just that: balanced. Operating revenues were down CAD 6 million (USD 6.01 million) year-over-year to CAD 695 million (USD 695.9 million). The company noted, though, that growth in Internet, TV and wireless revenues "largely offset" declines in local, long-distance and other revenues.

"In our FTTH markets we are now experiencing revenue and EBITDA growth, with growing TV and Internet revenues more than offsetting declines in our traditional voice revenues," Sheriff said. "Continuing to grow our FiberOP customer base is the key to securing a strong future for our company and 2012 was a year of great FTTH results for us."

For more:
- Bell Aliant issued this fourth quarter earnings release

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