Updated March 28 at 1:28pm

Towerstream widens loss


(Updated, 11:30 a.m.)

MIDDLETOWN – Wireless Internet service provider Towerstream widened its loss to $2.6 million in the third quarter from $1.4 million a year earlier.

In the news release Tuesday, Towerstream also announced that the consumer option for its Midtown Manhattan Wi-Fi offload network, to be called Smart-Fi Wi-Fi, would launch by the end of the fourth quarter.

Towerstream's net loss per common share was 5 cents, compared with 4 cents in the third quarter of 2010.

Revenue, however, increased 33 percent to $6.8 million. In its sales breakdown by market for 4G service, Boston and New York led the way, with $1.7 million and $1.5 million, respectively. Its Providence-Newport market revenue slipped slightly to $120,000 for the three months ended Sept. 30, from $121,000 a year earlier.

Towerstream also reported results for the nine months first nine months of the year. Net loss was $5.4 million for 2011, compared with a loss of $4.2 million a year earlier. Revenue increased to $19.3 million, from $14.19 million year over year.

Third-quarter operating highlights for the company include signing Boingo Wireless as its first commercial client for an offload Wi-Fi network in Midtown Manhattan and the agreement to acquire the business assets of Color Broadband Communications in Los Angeles.

Customer churn – or the monthly percentage of revenue lost from customers disconnecting from the network or reducing their bandwidth – improved to 1.27 percent in the third quarter from 1.6 percent in the same 2010 quarter.

ARPU – the monthly average revenue per user - for new customers increased to $625 from $543 a year earlier.

“We are excited to get our first Wi-Fi customer this quarter as the investment in our Wi-Fi network begins to bear fruit,” said CEO Jeff Thompson. “With a solid, high-margin core business, an active acquisition program and the launch of our Wi-Fi network, Towerstream is well positioned for continued growth.”

Update with details on Smart-Fi Wi-Fi.


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