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STRATEGY ANALYTICS: North American Cellular EBITDA Surges 30 Percent in Q4 2005; New Research Finds Q4 EBITDA Margins at Decade High.

BOSTON -- EBITDA margins among North American cellular carriers jumped 4 percentage points in Q4 2005 to reach 32 percent, their highest Q4 level this decade. According to "Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking, Q4 2005," the latest report from the Strategy Analytics Wireless Network Strategies service, US carriers, in particular, are in excellent form, with margins jumping 7 percentage points at Verizon Wireless and 15 points at T-Mobile.

This quarterly report provides a health check for the wireless operator community, tracking the operational and financial performance of 95 individual operators, accounting for more than two-thirds of all global wireless subscribers.

Despite the cost of supporting gross additions, which were also at a decade-high, the North American wireless industry delivered a solid financial performance in Q4 2005. Average revenues per user (ARPUs) continued their recent declines in the quarter, although operational expenditure (OPEX) tracked below this, fuelling Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) increases near the 30 percent level.

"Verizon Wireless continues to stand out in the US market," comments David Kerr, Vice President, Global Wireless Practice. "Its customers do not generate spectacular ARPUs among the tier one carriers, but Verizon spends the least on acquiring and serving these customers by far. As a result, its market-leading average monthly EBITDA margins topped the $23 mark for the first time this decade."

Phil Kendall, Director, Global Wireless Practice and author of the report, adds, "We are seeing carriers break new ground in emerging markets, where the cost of serving customers continues to fall. While OPEX per user averages $40 per month in North America, it is already below the $5 level for carriers in China, Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines, Russia, and the Ukraine."

For the chart, Average Margin Per User Per Month, see www.strategyanalytics.com/press/PR00276.htm

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. - a global research and consulting firm - provides timely insights and strategic business solutions to companies operating at the convergence of information, communications and entertainment technologies. For more information, see www.strategyanalytics.com
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Date:Apr 4, 2006
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