Regional service UScellular added 28,000 linked units within the third quarter, however didn’t report any web postpaid cellphone subscribers as a lack of function cellphone connections canceled out the identical variety of modest web smartphone positive factors.

Chicago-based UScellular operates in 21 states serving roughly 5 million prospects, together with 4.4 million postpaid connections. Thursday’s outcomes characterize the primary monetary quarter since Laurent Therivel, former CEO of AT&T Mexico, took the helm at UScellular in July.

Within the three-month interval, UScellular recorded 8,000 web postpaid smartphone additions, however misplaced the identical variety of function cellphone connections – leading to zero web handset provides. Nonetheless, it’s an enchancment over the two,000 web handset losses in the identical interval a 12 months in the past and postpaid ARPU of $47.10 in Q3 was up each sequentially and 12 months over 12 months.  

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Pay as you go web additions have been 11,000, in comparison with 9,000 in Q3 2019.

The service noticed extra demand for linked units in Q3, which it tied to the elevated want for distant connectivity amid COVID-19, in response to a 10-Okay submitting.

RELATED: US Cellular says data traffic surged 20-25% in Q2 because of Covid-19

With much less switching exercise, UScellular’s handset churn remained low in Q3 at 0.88%, versus 1.09% a 12 months in the past.

Service revenues have been of $775 million have been flat 12 months over 12 months, as retail service elevated 2% 12 months over 12 months to $683 million and inbound roaming revenues declined 23% to $42 million. In keeping with the 10-Okay, the service expects inbound roaming revenues to proceed to say no due to each a lower in charges, and the Dash and T-Cell merger.

Gear gross sales within the third quarter have been down 2% to $252 million.

Nonetheless income elevated, with web earnings of $85 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.97 in Q3, in comparison with $23 million and $0.27, respectively, within the 12 months in the past interval.  

“Our sturdy monetary efficiency this quarter is a testomony to the worth customers ascribe to wi-fi providers and UScellular’s unwavering dedication to buyer expertise,” stated Therivel in a statement. “We had greater ARPU which, mixed with sustaining our operational and value self-discipline all through the quarter, helped to drive will increase in profitability in comparison with the identical interval one 12 months in the past. This places us in a powerful place as we method a really non-traditional vacation promoting season and resulted in a rise in our expectations for full-year monetary outcomes.”

RELATED: U.S. Cellular, Ericsson, Qualcomm stretch mmWave’s reach

Talking final week throughout GSMA’s Thrive North America virtual event, Therivel stated one of many issues that separates UScellular from different wi-fi carriers is its give attention to serving underserved areas, notably in rural America.

And whereas he acknowledged rural customers are enthusiastic about new know-how and potential advantages of 5G, one other key message Therivel burdened is that many really feel they’re being left behind.

“I’m involved that on the subject of connecting these communities to reasonably priced, high-speed networks, we’re failing a few of them,” Therivel stated throughout a CTIA Summit at Thrive, talking of the trade total. “As vital as 5G adoption is, it’s simply as important that it doesn’t change into a brand new barrier for a number of the communities that we serve.”

To that finish he inspired the wi-fi trade to give attention to what Therivel categorized as two associated however separate targets of creating a complete 5G technique that accelerates U.S. innovation and management; and a technique for bridging the digital divide and connecting the underserved “no matter ‘G’.”

UScellular launched 5G earlier this 12 months, and repair is obtainable in elements of Iowa, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

5G is predicted to be accessible within the majority of its 21-state footprint by year-end and all markets by the primary quarter of 2021.

RELATED: U.S. Cellular preps for C-band tests with Ericsson, Nokia gear

The service additionally banked a 5G achievement with Ericsson and Qualcomm in September, finishing an prolonged vary 5G mmWave information name over a distance of greater than 5 kilometers at speeds of 100 Mbps close to the sting, to 1.8 Gbps nearer to the cell website.

Nevertheless, there has additionally been a powerful give attention to investing and upgrading its 4G LTE community, together with a VoLTE deployment that may wrap up within the fourth quarter of this 12 months.  

On the GSMA Thrive North America occasion, Therivel reiterated the view that “the overwhelming majority of our prospects want may be served successfully with present know-how,” including that the trade must work collectively to make it reasonably priced and accessible.

UScellular’s third-quarter earnings name is Friday, November 6.