Verizon Wireless has strengthened its lead in the US market, adding 2.2 million new wireless customers (net) in Q2 – double the 1.1 million figure reported by nearest rival AT&T yesterday. The period was the first full quarter where Verizon offered the iPhone, which was previously offered exclusively by AT&T. Verizon activated 2.3 million iPhone 4 units during the quarter. Verizon’s 2.2 million net additions, which includes 1.3 million retail postpaid net customer additions, brought total connections to 106.3 million (89.7 million retail).

Meanwhile, the operator’s parent – Verizon Communications – announced that its board has selected current President and COO Lowell C. McAdam (pictured) as its new CEO, replacing Ivan G. Seidenberg, who will step down in August. The firm has been sounding out successors to Seidenberg since last year, and McAdam was a favourite to land the role. McAdam was also President and CEO of Verizon Wireless until September 2010.

In its Q2 earnings today, Verizon Communications reported diluted EPS of 57 cents, an improvement on an adjusted 51 cents a year ago. Total operating revenue came in at US$27.5 billion, up 2.8 percent. The wireless arm reported a 6.6 percent year-on-year increase in service revenue to US$14.7 billion; data revenue was US$5.8 billion, up US$1.1 billion (22.2 percent) year-on-year and now represents 39.5 percent of all service revenue. At its fixed-line arm, operating revenue declined by 0.3 percent to US$10.2 billion.

“In terms of earnings growth and the acceleration of revenue growth, this has been one of Verizon’s best quarters since the 2008 economic downturn,” said Seidenberg. “We expect Verizon Wireless to gain share in the retail postpaid market and widen its network-quality lead throughout 2011.

Verizon Wireless noted that, as of yesterday, its new LTE network is available in 102 markets across the country, covering a population of more than 160 million. It is aiming for 175 markets and 185 million population coverage by year-end.

The operator also announced three new LTE devices: the Droid Charge by Samsung, Revolution by LG and the MiFi 4510L 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot by Novatel Wireless, and said that the LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available by the end of the month. It said 1.2 million “4G LTE smartphones and Internet data devices” were sold in Q2.