Pre-paid carrier MetroPCS continued to ride the economic weakness in the U.S. to report gains in customers, revenue and earnings. When the overall economy sours, companies like Metro pick up business from budget watching cellphone users who need to keep cellular coverage but can't afford contract rates. As a result, for the first quarter, revenues increased 22% on a year over year basis and the carrier added approximately 1.3
million subscribers for a total of 7.3 million customers. From the prior three month period (the fourth quarter), MetroPCS gained nearly 692,000 subscribers for a 10% addition. The carrier's Chairman, Roger D. Linquist, said that the 700,000 net additions to it's customer list was a company record for a quarter as was the $224 million in Q1 earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization. MetroPCS' churn rate dropped from 5% to 3.7% year over year. "We believe our new initiatives including our deployment of 4G LTE, and our focus on providing a post-pay experience on a no-signed contract, unlimited, flat-rate basis, improves our competitive position now and in the future,” said Linquist. One minor negative in the report was the decline in the average monthly revenue spent by customers which dropped to $39.83 from $40.70 in the prior period and $40.40 in the prior year's first quarter.