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MetroPCS uncorks record quarter, regional wireless provider boosted by economic uncertainty

It looks like MetroPCS Communications Inc. may be cashing in on the current economic downturn. The no-contract, unlimited wireless provider said it added 520,000 customers during the fourth quarter of 2008, its highest quarterly net additions in the company’s history. The growth put the carrier’s total customer count at 5.4 million subscribers, a 74% increase from the fourth quarter of 2007.
The carrier added 1.4 million subscribers over the course of 2008, a 37% increase from 2007.
“During the fourth quarter and for the full year 2008, our strong subscriber growth continues to prove the resiliency of the MetroPCS business model in the midst of the current unprecedented economic environment,” said Roger Linquist, MetroPCS’ chairman, president and CEO.
Further, MetroPCS managed to nab those extra subscribers despite a higher churn rate. The carrier reported 5.1% churn during the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase from the 4.8% churn posted during the final three months of 2007.
MetroPCS has big plans for 2009. The carrier said it plans to launch in new markets including Boston and New York this year. Also, the carrier recently announced it entered into a reciprocal roaming agreement with rival Leap Wireless International Inc. covering 300 markets across the U.S.
MetroPCS is expected to release full fourth quarter results next month.
The wireless provider’s stock was up slightly on the news to around $16 per share.

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