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October 28, 1999

GSM Operator Powertel Cuts Losses, Revenues Climb 62%

By CBR Staff Writer

Independent GSM operator PowerTel Inc yesterday reported net losses down 12.2% at $56.4m on revenues up 62% at $72.4m. Losses per share were down 15% at $2.10. PowerTel’s network covers the southwestern US, has long looked a potential acquisition for some time as MCI WorldCom Inc looked as though it could make a bid to enter the wireless market by collecting the disparate GSM operators. With MCI WorldCom opting to acquire Sprint Corp primarily for its PCS business there remains acquisition speculation around VoiceStream Wireless Corp. VoiceStream already had deals pending to acquire Omnipoint Corp and Aerial Communications Inc in deals totaling $4.27bn.

During the quarter, Finland’s incumbent carrier Sonera Ltd yesterday acquired a 9.1% stake in US GSM operator PowerTel Inc in a deal estimated to be worth around $3.65m. PowerTel provides GSM services in 12 states in the southeastern US, with 34 metropolitan areas covered including Atlanta, Jacksonnville, Memphis and Nashville During the quarter the company reported that it had added 56,000 PCS subscribers and extended the reach of its network adding 66 cell sites to its network. The company says it network now covers 16.3 million people. PowerTel closed yesterday down 1.56% at $59.3125.

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