U.S. retail wireless service revenues were $83.7 million, 3% below the $86.0 million reported in the 2011 fourth quarter. This decrease was due to net postpaid subscriber attrition that the Company experienced throughout 2012. At the end of the 2012 fourth quarter, the Company had approximately 588,000 U.S. retail subscribers, an increase of 1% from the approximately 580,000 subscribers the Company had at the end of last year’s fourth quarter. Despite a higher percentage of contract expirations, this quarter marked the third consecutive quarter in which the Company experienced net subscriber additions in its U.S. retail wireless business, driven by growth in prepaid subscribers. The 2013 first quarter will be another period of higher-than-average contract expirations, which is likely to result in further decreases in postpaid subscribers. Of the total subscribers at December 31, 2012, approximately 425,000 were postpaid subscribers and approximately 163,000 were prepaid subscribers. Additional operating data on the Company’s U.S. retail wireless business can be found in Table 4 of this release.
U.S. wholesale wireless revenues were $48.1 million, a decrease of less than 1% from the $48.4 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. Consistent with industry trends, voice traffic continued to decline in comparison with the prior year, mainly offset by increased data usage. Roaming revenue, including data roaming revenue, for certain of the Company’s coverage areas is currently expected to decline over time as roaming partners increase their data network coverage and capacity in those areas. Data revenues accounted for 52% of wholesale wireless revenues for the quarter, compared to 46% a year earlier. As previously disclosed, one of the Company’s roaming partners exercised a call option in July 2012 to repurchase spectrum and related cell sites in the midwestern U.S. for approximately $15.6 million. The transaction was completed late in the fourth quarter of 2012, resulting in a gain on disposition of long-lived assets of approximately $11.6 million. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company’s wholesale revenue from these network assets amounted to approximately $16.0 million.
International Wireless Revenues
International wireless revenues include retail and wholesale voice and data wireless revenues from international operations in Bermuda and the Caribbean. International wireless revenues were $21.3 million, an increase of 10% over the $19.4 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. At the end of 2012, the Company had approximately 333,000 international wireless subscribers of which 88% were prepaid subscribers. This is an increase of approximately 3% from approximately 322,000 wireless subscribers at the end of 2011. Each of the Company’s international subsidiaries experienced moderate year-over-year growth in wireless revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012.
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