Rogers Wireless Q4 2008 Results: 400,000 Smartphone activations

rogerslogoI must say that Alan Horn, Chairman and acting CEO of Rogers Communications stepped up and did things right when he honoured Ted Rogers in his address with Q4 2008 results: “In December 2008, we mourned the passing of the Company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ted Rogers. Ted Rogers was one of a kind who built this company from one FM radio station nearly 50 years ago into what is today Canada’s largest wireless, cable and media company. His absence has been felt deeply during this difficult time by everyone at Rogers and he will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.”

Highlights from Rogers Wireless Q4 2008 results:

– “Wireless subscriber net additions totaled 199,000, with higher-value postpaid net additions of 158,000. Postpaid monthly ARPU (average revenue per user) increased 2% year-over-year to $74.71, driven in part by the 36% growth in data revenue to $262 million, representing approximately 18% of network revenue, while churn was further reduced to 1.12%.

– Wireless activated more than 400,000 smartphone devices during the quarter. Approximately 40% of these activations were to subscribers new to Wireless with the other 60% being to existing Wireless subscribers who upgraded devices, committed to new term contracts, and in most cases attached both voice and monthly data packages which generate considerably above average ARPU. The results of this successful smartphone campaign drove significantly higher acquisition and retention costs at Wireless.

– Wireless unveiled even faster speeds on its 3.5G next generation HSPA network, with 7.2 Mbps speeds now available from coast-to-coast to more than 75% of the Canadian population. Rogers’ 3.5G network ranks amongst the fastest mobile networks anywhere in the world and allows customers to communicate in innovative ways with mobile multimedia, download large files ultra-fast and utilize Internet speeds on the go that are similar to a standard broadband connection.

– Fido launched new branding and a suite of straightforward ‘all-in’ plans aimed at the value oriented consumer segment that include usage alerts, easy price plan switching and the option of no term contract.

“Generating nine percent top line growth in the face of the increasingly challenging economic backdrop is a respectable performance for Rogers. Our Wireless and Cable businesses continue to generate good subscriber growth, which speaks to the quality and utility of our products. Our operating results also reflect the large but successful investment our Wireless business again made this quarter in activating a very significant number of smartphone customers who will in turn provide higher than average revenue per customer and lower churn in subsequent periods.”