Like every traditional wireline carrier, TDS Telecom (NYSE: TDS) saw its share of landline losses, but those losses were offset by continued growth in data and broadband services.
TDS reported operating revenues of $1.265 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010, a slight increase over the $1.261 billion it reported in Q4 2009.
However, from an overall year perspective, TDS's operating revenue declined to $4,986.8 billion from $5.01 billion in 2009.
"TDS Telecom had a good year in 2010, increasing revenue and improving operating margins, despite physical access line losses, said LeRoy T. Carlson, Jr., TDS president and CEO in the earnings release. "Data revenue growth was strong, as we added DSL customers, and more customers migrated to higher data speeds. On the commercial side, the company significantly expanded availability of its managedIP service and nearly doubled the number of stations. TDS Telecom is also now offering hosted and managed service solutions, as part of its strategy to offer a diverse range of commercial services that complement its core offerings."
Here's a quick breakdown of key metrics:
- Landline Losses: During the quarter, TDS lost 12,000 equivalent access lines, ending the quarter and year with 767,200 lines, which was due to a loss of physical access lines partially offset by growth in high-speed data customers. Likewise, TDS reported that it lost 10,000 physical lines, ending the quarter and year with 507,000 lines.
- Business Services: In addition to seeing continued data services growth, TDS's managedIP offerings ILEC and CLEC) grew to 27,400 from 13,900 during the quarter.
- Broadband, Data Services: Broadband continued to be a hot seller for TDS in the fourth quarter as the ILEC's DSL customer base grew nine percent. One of the highlights of Q4 was that it broadened the reach of its 25 Mbps VDSL2-based service to 20 of its 30 operating states. At the same time, overall ILEC data revenues, which represent 21 percent of ILEC revenues, grew 23 percent.
As it moves further into 2011, the service provider has forecast that ILEC and CLEC revenues of $780 million to $810 million.
From a capex perspective, TDS has forecast it will spend about $175 million to $200 million in 2011 on its ILEC and CLEC operations. Part of its capex budget will include $105.1 million in federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. TDS itself will match that award with $30.9 million of its own funds to complete 44 broadband build out projects over the next 24 to 36 months.
- see the release
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