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MetroPCS Q3: 1 million LTE subscribers, strong profit

The No. 5 cellular network, poised to merge with No. 4 T-Mobile USA, reports decent quarterly profits today.

Greg Sandoval/CNET

MetroPCS, the fifth largest cellular network in the U.S., has posted strong third-quarter earnings, along with more than 1 million LTE subscribers on its network.

The cellular network today reported third-quarter net profit of $193 million -- more than double the $69 million profit it recorded a year ago -- on revenue of $1.3 billion, or 52 cents a share. Revenue was up by 4 percent year over year.

Analysts had expected revenue of $1.25 billion for the third quarter.

MetroPCS did have a net loss of 312,000 subscribers during the quarter, dropping its total subscriber base to 8.9 million customers. However, 1 million of those -- around 11 percent -- are now on its high-speed LTE network.

MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist said in a statement:

Late in the third quarter, we launched 4G LTE For All and while still early, we are pleased with initial results, including customer upgrades and churn. As we enter the fourth quarter, our 4G LTE For All efforts are in full-swing and with over one million 4G LTE subscribers at the end of the third quarter, we believe we are well positioned to meet the current demands for high-speed wireless broadband service.

During the fourth quarter, we plan to focus on re-energizing subscriber growth, which we expect will put incremental pressure on our CPGA and CPU. With a robust 4G LTE handset line-up that is growing, we believe our 4G LTE For All initiative provides unmatched value, with all taxes and regulatory fees included.

The cellular network also reaffirmed its guidance for fiscal year 2012.

Earlier this month, T-Mobile USA pitched a bid to merge with MetroPCS for $1.5 billion. The move signals that T-Mobile USA's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, plans to remain in the U.S. market, despite previously saying it wanted to leave the country altogether. It comes a year after U.S. regulators pulled the plug on AT&T's plan to buy No. 4 T-Mobile after the Justice Department said it would hurt competition.