Swiss wireless operator Orange Switzerland has booked a 0.1% year-on-year decline in revenues to CHF307.3 million (USD316.8 million) for the three months ended 31 March 2013 as declining ARPU offset subscriber growth. The provider’s overall wireless subscriber base increased by 3% y-o-y to 1.668 million, although pre-paid users dropped by 2.2% to 589,000 whilst contract customers grew by 6.0% to 1.08 million. Despite the increase in post-paid subscriptions, monthly ARPU fell by 4.3% to CHF51.7, attributed to an increase in low value ‘Orange Young’ subscribers. EBITDA for the quarter dropped by 20.2% y-o-y to CHF69.8 million, impacted by non-recurring costs related to the company’s restructuring and contract set-up fees for network managed services. The cellco booked net losses of CHF12.036 million for the period under review, improving from losses of CHF43.382 million a year earlier.
The cellco added that it was forging ahead with its LTE rollout, and has launched the 4G network in 113 municipalities across ten cities, namely Basel, Bern, Biel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Luzern, St. Gallen, Winterthur and Zurich. The network covers approximately 35% of the population and provides potential downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps. Orange’s LTE footprint is to be expanded to 71% of the population by the end of 2013, with download speeds to be upgraded to 150Mbps. In terms of offerings, Orange is providing access to its 4G network for all users at no extra cost. Mobile data users signed up to any of the cellco’s pre- or post-paid plans utilise the highest connection speed available.