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BCE Unit Expands LTE Advanced Wireless Coverage in Manitoba

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Bell MTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BCE, Inc. (BCE - Free Report) , recently announced that it has extended LTE Advanced (LTE-A) wireless coverage network in Manitoba as part of its $1 billion infrastructure investment plan for the province. Notably, the expansion will bring the wireless service to the communities of Stuartburn, Woodridge and Zhoda.

With the expansion of the wireless service, residents and businesses in south-eastern Manitoba will gain access to the top broadband wireless technology. Notably, the company will make the LTE-A wireless service available in Woodridge this week, with the roll outs in Stuartburn and Zhoda expected in 2019.

Apart from expanding the wireless services, Bell MTS has rolled out Gigabit Fibe Internet in more than 20 communities throughout Manitoba. Also, the company has successfully introduced Fibe TV, making it the first TV provider in the province to provide live 4K programming.

Our Take

BCE’s wireless segment is likely to benefit from its post-paid business as it continues to enjoy solid subscriber addition. Significant investments in network coverage, customer retention, lucrative data plans and the launch of new handsets will likely drive customer addition.

The company continues to focus on strategic areas like investment in broadband network and services, accelerating wireless services, leveraging wireline momentum and expanding media coverage. These initiatives are expected to generate higher revenue per user and attract new customers in the coming quarters.

Also, on the wireline front, the company expects financial results to improve going forward as it gains from an increase in net revenue generation units. BCE continues to gain from FibeTV and FibreOP TV growth, price hike and an improved business market stemming from a steady economy.

In the past three months, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has lost 1.1% compared with the industry’s decline of 3.0%.

However, the company’s local line access for traditional telephony service continues to face a decline among large customers due to higher wireless substitution and migration to IP-based services. This is reflected by persistent erosion in overall network access services on a year-over-year basis, hurting revenues of local and long-distance operations.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks from the same space are Atlantic Power Corp. (AT - Free Report) , Ameren Corp. (AEE - Free Report) and PPL Corp. (PPL - Free Report) . While Atlantic Power sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Ameren and PPL carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Atlantic Power exceeded estimates twice in the preceding four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 7.24%.

Ameren surpassed estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 7.69%.

PPL outpaced estimates in each of the preceding four quarters with an average earnings surprise of 8.55%.

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