Miami— No-contract cellular MVNO TracFone Wireless added 385,000 net new subscribers in the third quarter, up substantially from the year-ago 5,000 to strengthen the company’s position as the fifth largest wireless operator in the U.S., the company said.
TracFone ended September with 25.9 million subscribers, up 12.4 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Third-quarter revenues were up 15.5 percent to $1.7 billion compared to the year-ago quarter. Data-revenue growth of 17.8 percent helped boost ARPU by 2.6 percent, the company said.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $157 million dollars, representing a 9.1 percent margin relative to revenues, but EBITDA was down 23.4 percent from the year-ago quarter mainly because of higher subscriber acquisition costs resulting from the “surge” in net subscriber additions, the company said.
TracFone sells prepaid service under the TracFone, Net 10, Telcel, SafeLink, PagePlus, and StraightTalk brands. The latter is available exclusively through Walmart. TracFone also works with master agents to set up Simple Mobile Solutions stores that sell its brands but are owned and operated by independent parties.
TracFone owner America Movil of Mexico City operates landline and wireless networks throughout Latin America and in Europe.