AT&T Wireless Dials Up a Profit in 1Q

First-quarter profit of $135 million compares with a loss of $178 million for the same period last year.

Owing to new customers and a significant revenue, AT&T Wireless on Wednesday posted a profit for the first quarter of 2003.

The Redmond, Wash., wireless carrier reported a profit of $135 million for its first quarter, compared with a loss of $178 million for the same period last year.

The company reported a revenue of $3.95 billion, compared with $3.61 billion in the first quarter of 2002.

AT&T Wireless added 283,000 customers in the quarter. Revenue per customer was $58.70. Meanwhile, competitor Nextel Communications Inc. on Wednesday reported an average monthly revenue per subscriber of $67, owing to the popularity of its DirectConnect push-to-talk service, which lets customers use their phones like walkie talkies. AT&T Wireless plans to start market testing its own push-to-talk service by the end of next year or the beginning of the next, according to company officials.

AT&T Wireless also announced a roaming agreement with T-Mobile USA Inc., which will benefit customers in several markets, including Minneapolis, Minn.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Sarasota, Fla.; I-25 from Albuquerque, N.M. to El Paso, Texas; and, along I-20 in Texas from Dallas to Abilene. Officials said the agreement will go into effect this June.

The company announced a similar agreement with Cingular Wireless last month.

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