US Cellular profits increase despite losing 93,000 customers

US Cellular Mobile Earnings
US Cellular makes money, loses customers

United States Cellular Corporation reported a net income increase of 297% to $19.5 million (about £11.5m, or AU$21m), compared to Q1 of last year, the company said in an earnings statement.

Service revenue for the mobile technology company decreased 14% to $853.6 million (about £505m, or AU$921m) for the first quarter of 2014. Total operating revenues for the quarter decreased 8% to $925.81 million (about £548m, or AU$999m). However, during the quarter, US Cellular’s operating expenses decreased 15% to $917,986 (about £543,860m, or AU$990,390).

Despite the increase in net income, US Cellular lost roughly 93,000 customers in 2013. The company now has 4.68 million customers, down from 4.77 million in Q1 of 2013.

Recent changes

Last month, US Cellular said it would add more than 1,200 4G LTE cell sites in 2014 and expand existing 4G LTE service in 13 states. By the end of the year, the company plans to offer more than 93% of US Cellular customers 4G LTE.

In January, US Cellular began selling the Moto G handset for only $99.99 (about £59, or AU$106). Prior to the announcement, the phone’s lowest available price-point was $179 (about £106, or AU$193) from Motorola. The same month, US Cellular added an unlimited talk, text and data plan for $50 (about £30, or AU$54) per month.

In November, Amazon began offering US Cellular smartphones that can be purchased online and activated over the phone.

US Cellular offers wireless plans starting at $10 (about £6, or AU$10.80) per month on a month-to-month basis. The next least expensive option is 400 minutes, 400 texts, and 400 photos for $35 (about £20, or AU$37.80) per month.