Fixed wireless access (FWA) and prepaid business phone additions drove an increase in revenue for Verizon during Q3, but it continued a trend of losing consumer post-paid phone subscribers.
Verizon Business added 151,000 post-paid phone subscribers, which CEO Hans Vestberg (pictured) noted on the company’s earnings call was its ninth-consecutive quarter of more than 125,000 additions.
Retail post-paid phone churn was 0.9 per cent
Consumer post-paid phone users dropped by 51,000, a marked improvement over the 189,000 lost in Q3 2022.
Despite the overall loss, Vestberg noted positive consumer post-paid net phone additions in September and predicted the momentum would lead to the company exceeding its post-paid phone net additions from Q4 2022, despite “muted upgrade levels”.
Verizon lost 207,000 retail prepaid customers. CFO Tony Skiadas stated he expects better results going forward as the company looks to scale its Visible and Total by Verizon brands.
Buoyed by the early release of a second tranche of C-Band spectrum, Verizon added 384,000 FWA subscribers compared with 342,000 in Q3 2022.
Vestberg noted additions remained strong even with a $10 increase for new bundle customers.
He stated Verizon has a goal of 4 million to 5 million FWA customers by 2025 and said the addition of C-Band spectrum and improvements in radios would allow it to improve capacity and so avoid straining the network.
Verizon is currently completing its C-Band deployments in urban areas before branching out into suburban and under-served rural markets, which will lead to more direct competition with T-Mobile US’ FWA service and cable operators’ broadband offerings.
“C-Band is a game changer for our business, giving us better customer retention as well as a strong broadband opportunity with fixed wireless access,” Vestberg stated.
Revenue of $33.3 billion was down 2.6 per cent year-on-year and net income fell 2.8 per cent to $4.9 billion, a decrease of 2.8 per cent.
Total wireless service revenue was $19.3 billion, up 2.9 per cent, which Vestberg attributed to expanding and deepening customer relationships.