Posts filed under ‘Leap Wireless’
Leap Wireless reported a hefty increase in its net new subscribers for the first quarter.However, it still came in behind competing wireless operator MetroPCS. Both companies have benefited from the current economic slowdown as mobile customers defect to their flat-rate, no-contract wireless services instead of sticking with landlines or high-end plans. MetroPCS appears to be doing a bit better than Leap after posting a net profit and higher customer additions in its latest quarter, although its churn rate and ARPU (average revenue per user) come in behind Leap’s. Leap added 493,000 new subscribers while MetroPCS plowed its way ahead with an additional 684,000 customers in the same period, and it expanded into highly-populated markets in New York and Boston and covered an additional 15 million people.Leap launched service in Chicago and Philadelphia toward the end of the first quarter, covering an additional 17 million people and adding 193,300 customers in those new markets.
In a move that could launch a price war, Boost Mobile, the MVNO running on Sprint’s smaller Nextel network, is launching a USD50 per month unlimited mobile package from 22 January. The offering includes unlimited calls and texts and will be in direct competition with Leap Wireless International and MetroPCS Communications, which both have similarly priced packages. Boost claims after some taxes and other charges are taken into account it will be cheaper than Leap and MetroPCS and substantially cheaper than Verizon Wireless and AT&T, which both offer unlimited voice services for USD99 a month. The service will even be available without a contract, with Boost targeting consumers who use their phones mostly for voice calls and texting rather than accessing the internet because Nextel’s iDen network has slow mobile internet speeds. Boost currently covers a potential customer base of 274 million people, while Leap and MetroPCS plan to have coverage of about 200 million people between them by 2010.
Virgin Mobile USA announced it added 216,000 new customers in the fourth quarter of 2008, taking its subscriber base to a total of 5.38 million. The churn rate was 4.8% for the three months to 31 December. CEO Dan Schulman said, ‘Our hybrid plans continue to grow in popularity, accounting for over 50% of our gross adds in October and November and 29% of our subscriber base at the end of November.’
Meanwhile Leap Wireless International announced that it added in the region of 385,000 net customers during the fourth quarter of 2008, including approximately 79,000 broadband net additions. Leap ended the year with approximately 3.84 million customers, up 34% year-on-year. Total company customer churn for the fourth quarter of 2008 was 3.8%. Doug Hutcheson, Leap’s CEO and president said, ‘Strong performance in the company’s existing markets reflects the success of our market enhancement strategies, and our broadband customer additions were strong and within our guidance.’
US cellular operator Leap Wireless International has awarded Convergys a long-term contract for the implementation and management of a new billing system. The new BSS/OSS solution will be based on Convergys’ Active Mediation and Rating and Billing Manager product offerings. Leap has also extended its existing billing services agreement with current provider VeriSign to cover the transition period.
The US cellular operator MetroPCS has reported a record 520,000 net subscriber additions in the fourth quarter of 2008, a 74% year-on-year increase in net adds. Gross additions were up 55% at 1.3 million. MetroPCS, which offers flat-rate unlimited calling plans without a contract, has been boosted by a roaming deal with rival operator Leap Wireless which was signed last September and the introduction of a new nationwide service tariff. It claimed almost 5.37 million customers by the end of December 2008, up from 3.96 million a year before. ‘We are excited about our future growth potential given current landline replacement trends, the resiliency of our business model, as well as the incremental growth we expect from our planned service launches including Boston and New York in early 2009,’ said chairman, president and CEO Roger D. Linquist.