Seeking to maintain the upper hand against Canada's largest cable operators, BCE Inc. is betting the farm on fiber to keep it the biggest and fastest broadband provider in the country.
Bell Canada -- which competes against such major Canadian cablecos as Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco and Videotron -- is aggressively building an all-fiber network throughout the nation. And it's using that growing network to offer gigabit speeds, topping out at 1.5 Gbit/s and earning a recent nod from PCMag as the fastest ISP in Canada.
So far, the Canadian telco has rolled out its new FTTP network to 50% of its nearly 10-million-premises footprint. It closed out June with 4.9 million homes and businesses passed by its new all-fiber lines, up more than 700,000 from a year earlier. It also has 4.8 million locations passed by fiber-to-the-neighborhood (FTTN) lines and 100,000 locations passed by its even newer fixed-wireless-to-the-home (WTTH) networks.
These multi-billion-dollar investments in fiber-builds appear to be paying off so far. In another strong performance fueled by fiber, Bell Canada reported Thursday morning it added more than 19,000 broadband customers in the second quarter, up 51% from the year-ago period. With that increase, the telco closed out June with more than 3.46 million residential data customers, up 4.1% from a year earlier, easily maintaining its lead over Rogers as Canada's largest broadband provider.
Bell Canada also notched nearly 17,000 new IPTV subscribers in the spring quarter, pushing its Fibe TV customer base over the 1.7 million mark. The quarterly gain, however, represented about a 20% drop from last year's sub increase as the slower growth of its Fibe TV footprint and increased OTT video substitution cut into the provider's gains.
Overall, the Montreal-based telco added 52,000 FTTH customers over the spring as it continued to extend its fiber footprint to new regions of the country.
"We're really seeing the benefits of our strategic fiber investments," said BCE COO Mirko Bibic, speaking on the company's earnings call this morning. Bibic, who will succeed the retiring George Cope as the company's president and CEO in January. "We'll continue on our quest to be the broadband leader in Canada."
Due primarily to these IPTV and broadband subscriber gains (as well as price hikes), Bell Canada reported its wireline operating revenue rose 0.9% year-over-year to nearly C$3.1 billion ($2.3 billion US). That increase would have been greater if not for non-recurring revenue generated a year ago from the G7 Summit and Ontario general election, the company said.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
The cable industry took a major step in the battle for Gigabit broadband supremacy with the announcement of its 10G Platform vision. The key to realizing this vision hinges on leveraging the right access technologies and network architectures to provide the best balance of benefit versus cost.
One network path has the MSO embracing Next-Generation Hybrid Fiber Coax (NG HFC), which includes:
Distributed Access Architecture (DAA)
Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX)
Virtual Cable Converged Access Platforms (vCCAP)
Fiber-to-the-Home/Business (FTTH/B) is another network option, affording gigabit broadband scalability and 10Gbps service capability. How is an MSO to decide where which option works best and what to do now to prepare its networks for the onslaught of high-bandwidth residential and business applications?
During this webinar, Jack Burton, principal of Broadband Success Partners, outlines current and new access network architectures. Additionally, he will examine the facts and debunk some common misconceptions surrounding both fiber and NG HFC network deployment and maintenance.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:00 p.m. New York / 5:00 p.m. London
Wi-Fi is the foundation of the connected home for consumers; yet, it’s often a source of frustration. With the imminent release of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard – combined with a strong Managed Wi-Fi offer – service providers can reverse subscriber frustration while tapping into new revenue streams.
Key topics include:
What’s different about Wi-Fi 6 and why it matters to your subscribers
The importance of offering Managed Wi-Fi and its connection to Wi-Fi 6
How you can elevate your brand and gain a strong foothold in the home network.