UScellular lost 38,000 post-paid phone customers in Q3 compared with 31,000 in the same period of 2022, while fixed wireless access (FWA) additions and tower rental revenue were highlights.
President and CEO Laurent Therivel stated on the earnings call most of the FWA subscribers were currently provisioned over low-band spectrum, but he expected about 50 per cent of network traffic would be on mid-band by 2024.
He noted C-Band spectrum benefitted its FWA business in terms of data rates and network capacity.
“We expect strong subscriber growth to continue with the launch of our mid-band spectrum.”
UScellular will also refarm spectrum from its CDMA network when it is closed in 2024. Therivel stated about 42,000 customers were still on the network.
The CEO said UScellular will run a number of aggressive wireless promotions in the current quarter targeting new customers and incentising current users to upgrade as it seeks to bolster the number on contracts.
It booked a profit attributable to shareholders of $23 million compared with a loss of $12 million in Q3 2022, with revenue down 11 per cent to $963 million.
Service revenue fell 2 per cent to $762 million.
Tower sales grew 7.8 per cent to $25.4 million.
It added 10,000 FWA customers for a total of 106,000.
On an earnings call, Vicki Villacrez, CFO for majority shareholder Telephone and Data Systems (TDS), said the boards of each company are still considering a partial sale of UScellular.