MetroPCS said it added a new feature that gives family members one number that rings all of their cell phones at once, placing them into a conference call. Separately, the flat-rate carrier reported first-quarter numbers showing the largest net subscriber additions in company history--a jump in net subs of 684,000, which brings the carrier's total subscriber base to 6.1 million.
The new conference call feature, dubbed GroupLINE, places all participating family members into conference, much like what would happen if they picked up different landline phones around the house to get on the same call. When one family member answers, the others' handsets will continue ringing a few times, giving them a chance to join the call. Interested MetroPCS subscribers will in most cases be able to switch their current landline home number to the GroupLINE number, according to MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist.
The move is an attempt to get families to ditch traditional landline service, an effort that has been paying off in spades as carriers both large and small record record net adds. And, not surprisingly, MetroPCS' GroupLINE costs an extra $5 per month for subscribers on one of the carrier's family plans.
As for the carrier's first quarter, here's a breakdown of MetroPCS' key metrics:
Subscriber adds: The carrier's gross additions were more than 1.5 million for first quarter 2009, while its net adds were 684,000. That figure is 32 percent higher than the year-ago quarter and is the highest number of quarterly net adds in company history.
Churn: MetroPCS said that churn was 5 percent for the first quarter, up from 4 percent in the year-ago quarter.
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