CONSUMERS flocked to LIME Jamaica's mobile network but the company still recorded a $808-million net loss for the three months to June, or more than double year-earlier losses.
The telecom's mobile subscriber base jumped nearly one-quarter as rates were slashed by some two-thirds in early June as part of a marketing campaign facilitated by regulatory rate cuts.
LIME indicated that total revenues dipped 10 per cent to $4.3 billion due to fixed line and broadband declines but mobile revenues actually grew 10 per cent over the period.
Consequently LIME's management is encouraged by the results.
"We continued the encouraging progress in our mobile business with a 10 per cent increase in mobile services revenue over the same period," stated LIME Jamaica's CEO Garry Sinclair in a statement accompanying the financials.
The reduction in LIME rates actually preceded a regulatory adjustment by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
"We took a strategic decision to launch our anywhere, anytime, anyone talk EZ plan on June 7 prior to the OUR's implementation of final and further reduced mobile termination rates on July 1," indicated Sinclair in the statement accompanying the financials. "The new plan has resonated well with customers and has already resulted in a 22 per cent increase in our subscriber base year over year.
"We expect to continue increasing market share in the mobile business."
LIME tightly manages information on its network size, and did not disclose its size in the June quarterly report.
The OUR in its Cost Model for Mobile Termination Rates - Determination Notice, May 2013 described Digicel Jamaica as holding 84 per cent mobile market share in a two player market which places LIME at 16 per cent prior to the rate cut.
LIME cut rates from $6.99 to $2.99 across networks and for international calls to the diaspora since June.
The OUR implemented a new mobile termination rate of $1.10 per minute in July which followed resistance and legal fights from stakeholders over a decade.
Sinclair explained that the fixed line business continues to suffer declines due to the "diminishing subscriber base and a reduction in the fixed termination rate which was effective from June 2012".
Broadband revenues declined by 11 per cent as a result of net reduction in subscribers and the introduction of low priced packages such as browse and talk, said Sinclair.
LIME Jamaica recorded a J$4.9-billion total loss for its March 2013 year end compared with a $20-billion loss a year earlier.