WRAPUP 1-MetroPCS, Leap Wireless report strong subscriber adds
* MetroPCS Q1 adj EPS $0.08 vs est $0.09: Reuters Estimates
* MetroPCS Q1 EBITDA up 12 percent
* MetroPCS ARPU falls 5 pct, churn rises
* Leap ARPU falls 6 pct, churn rate down
By S. John Tilak
BANGALORE, May 7 (Reuters) - Low cost wireless carriers MetroPCS Communications Inc PCS.N and Leap Wireless Inc LEAP.O reported strong subscriber additions for the first quarter, riding on increased demand for prepaid plans as customers pinch pennies in a down economy.
MetroPCS, which competes with Sprint-Nextel (S.N: Cotización) unit Boost Mobile, said it added 684,000 net subscribers in the quarter, the highest quarterly net additions in its history.
Leap Wireless more than doubled net customer additions to 493,000 during the quarter. It expects the figure to touch more than 1.5 million in 2009.
Both carriers lure users by offering unlimited calls on their rate plans, which are priced much lower than those from national carriers such as AT&T Inc (T.N: Cotización) and Verizon Wireless. Continuación...