Cingular reported strong first-quarter results driven by its best-ever postpaid and overall churn, solid net,and gross customer additions

April 19, 2006

3 Min Read

ATLANTA -- Cingular Wireless LLC, which is a joint venture between AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS), today reported strong first-quarter results driven by its best-ever postpaid and overall churn, solid net and gross customer additions, continued progress on merger initiatives, growth of data ARPU, and sales to enterprise customers.

For the quarter, the nation's largest wireless provider reported overall monthly subscriber churn of 1.9 percent, its lowest ever. This represents an improvement of 30 basis points over the year-ago first quarter and a sequential improvement of 20 basis points. Postpaid churn improved by 30 basis points both year-over-year and sequentially to 1.6 percent, another record low.

Driven by lower churn and solid gross adds, Cingular also reported 1.7 million net customer additions. This compares to 1.4 million net additions in the year-ago first quarter and to 1.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Retail customers accounted for more than 1 million of the net adds for the quarter, including a sequential improvement of more than 41 percent in postpaid customers. Cingular's popular GoPhoneR prepaid offers continued to attract more customers to our retail stores. Net adds also reflect Cingular's national distribution agreement with RadioShack.

Gross additions were 4.7 million, which was flat versus the year-ago first quarter and compares to 5.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Cingular ended the first quarter of 2006 with 55.8 million cellular/PCS subscribers, an increase of 5.5 million over the year-ago first quarter.

Cingular's data ARPU was $5.22, up more than 41 percent over the year-ago first quarter and nearly 11 percent sequentially. The company's Business Markets Group signed more than 800 new and renewed high-end service contracts in the quarter.

Normalized OIBDA margins* for the first quarter of 2006 were 31.9 percent, an improvement of 640 basis points compared to normalized year-ago first quarter results and is a sequential improvement of 90 basis points.

"Cingular got out of the gate fast in the first quarter of 2006," said Stan Sigman, the company's president and chief executive officer. "We continue to move in the right direction on our major metrics - churn, customer additions, margins, revenue growth, and more.

"In particular, our continuing improvement in churn is directly related to the investments and enhancements we are making in our network, day in and day out, in cities and towns all around the country. No other wireless company invests more in its network than Cingular does. Customers experience these improvements for themselves, and as a result, not only buy from Cingular but stay with Cingular.

"Our first-quarter results are a tribute once again to the creativity, dedication, and hard work of the men and women of Cingular, who continue to build the most highly regarded wireless company in the world."

Cingular Wireless

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