Verizon bullish on customer adds, network quality - Mobile World Live

Verizon bullish on customer adds, network quality

27 JUL 2017

Verizon added customers in a competitive unlimited environment without having to resort to “aggressive promotions”, CFO Matt Ellis told investors during its Q2 earnings call.

In an apparent swipe at tactics employed by some of its US rivals, Ellis said the company had instead looked to differentiate its unlimited offer through superior network quality – a claim he said was backed-up by third party reports assessing its technical performance.

Since the reintroduction of unlimited by T-Mobile in August 2016, the war of words between the US operators around tariffs, and the capacity to offer the service, has become increasingly fraught.

As part of their campaigns, T-Mobile and Sprint have repeatedly targeted US market leaders AT&T and Verizon with price-led promotions.

Base growth
Verizon reintroduced unlimited in February, amid pressure from rivals. During its Q2 call, Ellis said much of the growth in its base, and decline of its churn rate, was due to the popularity of its new plan.

The company recorded a 1.2 per cent year on year increase in post-pay connections to 109.1 million in the three months to the end of June. Its prepaid base also grew to 5.4 million during the quarter, up 1.4 per cent year on year.

Although driving customer additions, Ellis said the tariff had also contributed to a decline in wireless service revenue. During the quarter, revenue attributable to its wireless unit fell 1.9 per cent year on year to $21.3 billion.

“Even in an unlimited world, third party results say Verizon has the best network,” Ellis said. “We are confident in our network and remain focused on delivering increasing capacity.”

In a statement on its latest figures, Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said: “Verizon reignited its growth engine in the quarter, both adding and retaining wireless customers while scaling our media business and continuing to invest in our superior networks.”

During the quarter the company reported net income of $4.48 billion compared to $831 million for the same period last year. However in its earnings statement it said the two periods were not meaningful, due to a number of one-off costs and transactions.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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