Cingular Wireless, the mobile venture of SBC Communications Inc. (SBC) and BellSouth Corp. (BLS), said Monday revenue rose in the fourth quarter on strong subscriber growth.

Cingular, which bought AT&T Wireless (AWE) in late October, said revenue rose 1.8 percent to $8.1 billion from the same quarter a year earlier, on a pro forma basis, which assumes it owned AT&T Wireless for the entirety of both quarters.

Cingular added 1.8 million customers in the quarter, also on a pro forma basis.

Excluding AT&T Wireless results from before their deal closed in October Cingular reported an operating loss of $497 million compared with a profit of $16 million a year earlier on revenue of $7.1 billion compared with $3.9 billion last year.

Churn, or the percentage of customers canceling their service, was 2.6 percent compared with expectations for churn of just over 3 percent, according to five analysts polled by Reuters.

Pro forma average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) was $49.67 down 5.8 percent compared with a year earlier.

Cingular said that $2.89 of its ARPU came from data services such as Web surfing and text messaging up from $1.75 in the third quarter before the AT&T Wireless deal.