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AT&T Wireless seems to be braving the crisis in the US telecoms market, and has reported a better first-quarter performance than Wall Street had expected. The company managed to add 650,000 customers in the first quarter, considerably better than the earlier estimates of between 425,000 and 600,000, taking its total customer base to 19.5 million.

In the first quarter ending March 31, it grew revenue by 12.5% to $3.6bn. The company posted a net loss of $178m up from a loss last year of $42m, although the company booked a charge of $166m relating to a change in accounting principles.

Redmond, Washington-based AT&T Wireless also increased the average minutes used per customer by 21.8% to 430, but booked a decline in average revenue per user by 5.8% to $58.60. The company has commited to targets set at the end of 2001 to increase its customer base by 20% by the end of the year.

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