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MetroPCS Q3: 1 million LTE subscribers, $193m profit

Fifth-place cellular network MetroPCS, currently in a bid to merge with fourth-place T-Mobile, reports another knock-out quarter -- including adding more than 1 million LTE subscribers to its roster.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

The U.S.' fifth largest cellular network MetroPCS has reported strong third quarter earnings, along with more than 1 million LTE subscribers on its network.

The cellular network reported third quarter net profit of $193 million -- an increase of more than two-and-a-half times on the same quarter a year ago -- on a consolidated revenue of $1.3 billion, or $0.52 a share. Total revenue was up by 4 percent based on the prior-year quarter.

Analysts had expected revenue of $1.25 billion for the third quarter.

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However, MetroPCS lost 312,000 subscribers during the quarter. Its total subscriber base now stands at 8.9 million customers across its network. Out of that, the firm surpassed 1 million LTE subscribers, representing around 12 percent of its total customer base on the high-speed wireless network.

MetroPCS chief executive and chairman Roger D. Linquist said in prepared remarks: 

Late in the third quarter, we launched 4G LTE For All and while still early, we are pleased with initial results, including customer upgrades and churn. As we enter the fourth quarter, our 4G LTE For All efforts are in full-swing and with over one million 4G LTE subscribers at the end of the third quarter, we believe we are well positioned to meet the current demands for high-speed wireless broadband service.

During the fourth quarter, we plan to focus on re-energizing subscriber growth, which we expect will put incremental pressure on our CPGA and CPU. With a robust 4G LTE handset line-up that is growing, we believe our 4G LTE For All initiative provides unmatched value, with all taxes and regulatory fees included.

Earlier this month, T-Mobile USA pitched a bid merge with MetroPCS for $1.5 billion, signalling T-Mobile USA's parent company Deutsche Telekom's bid to remain in the U.S. market, despite previously saying it wanted to leave the country altogether. It comes a year after U.S. federal regulators pulled the plug on U.S. second-place network A&T buying fourth place T-Mobile after the U.S. Justice Department said it would "hurt competition."

The cellular network reaffirmed its guidance for fiscal year 2012, suggesting a strong end-of-year results.

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