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Soon to be AT&T's problem, Leap Wireless reports a higher Q4 loss thanks to MetroPCS

Soon to be AT&T's problem, Leap Wireless reports a higher Q4 loss thanks to MetroPCS
Customers of a certain pre-paid carrier are taking a giant leap away from this mobile operator. Care to guess which company is dropping subscribers like water through a sieve? Leap Wireless lost 91,992 subscribers in the fourth quarter, according to recent SEC filings. That brings the total number of customers of the pre-paid carrier to 4.55 million. The carrier blamed competition from T-Mobile's MetroPCS pre-paid unit for the drop in subscribers. During the third quarter, Leap announced that it had lost 196,000 customers.

Last July, AT&T agreed to buy Leap for $1.2 billion and that deal was approved by Leap shareholders in October. AT&T plans on merging the operations of Leap with those of its pre-paid Aio Wireless division. Eventually, Aio stores will be rebranded using Leap's Cricket Wireless brand. The deal is expected to close on March 14th.

For the fourth quarter, Leap suffered a net loss of $177 million compared with $73.8 million the previous year. Revenue declined from $756 million to $682.7 million. Churn in the period was 3.5%, an improvement from the third quarter's 4% and the 4.6% reported a year ago. ARPU, at $45.30, was down sequentially from the $45.45 seen in Q3, but up from the $42.73 seen last year. 2.3 million Cricket subscribers now have access to Muve Music and Leap says that it is among the "largest on-demand music subscription services in the U.S. as measured by the number of paid users."

For the entire year, Leap lost 745,297 total net customers, compared to the prior year's loss of 637,229 subscribers.

source: SEC via FierceWireless

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