Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Amid competition, Verizon loses key customers for first time

Nellie Chapman | 21 April, 2017, 17:13

Verizon said it lost 307,000 retail postpaid subscribers, the more lucrative kind of wireless customer.

Verizon has reported its quarterly net loss of wireless customers for the first time during the initial 3 months of the year 2017, indicating the level of damage that growing competitors like Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have imposed on the largest carrier of the country by customers. The performance marks a dramatic reversal from the first quarter of a year ago, when Verizon added 640,000 users. If you use more than 22 GB in a single month, you won't get cut off from the data teat but the carrier reserves the right to throttle your connection if you're likely to impair the experience of other subscribers.

Wall Street analysts were predicting that Verizon had added more than 200,000 postpaid subscribers in the quarter.

That decision is coming back to haunt the carriers, as many customers aren't renewing those data plans. But once the new plans became available, they helped blunt those losses by bringing in about 110,000 new subscribers, Verizon said.

From the beginning of the year until the unlimited plan was unveiled on February 12, Verizon lost a net 398,000 regular monthly phone customers, by far the most it had ever lost in an entire quarter.

Verizon's retail postpaid connections base grew 1.2 percent year over year to 108.5 million, and retail prepaid connections grew 0.5 percent to 5.4 million.

According to ArsTechnica, Verizon has 113.9 million retail wireless phone connections, with postpaid smartphone plans taking up the big part of that.

Verizon has been able to retain customers thanks to its high-quality network.

Rival AT&T Inc. has diversified with its acquisition of DirecTV and proposed purchase of media giant Time Warner Inc.

Shares of Verizon are down almost 2% to $48.05 in pre-market trading Thursday.

Verizon expects full-year 2017 consolidated revenues to be fairly consistent with 2016, with improvement in wireless service revenue and equipment revenue trends; also, full-year 2017 consolidated adjusted EPS trends to be similar to consolidated revenue trends.

Verizon Communications (VZ) reported first-quarter earnings and sales on Thursday that missed analysts' expectations, sending shares lower.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share profit of 96 cents on $30.5 billion in revenue. Something seems to have changed in 2017, though, as the company just reported what may be their worst quarter ever, a quarter that was actually on pace to be even worse if not for the introduction of Verizon Unlimited.

For its Fios service, which delivers internet and TV to people's homes, Verizon added 35,000 internet subscribers, lost 13,000 cable subscribers and lost 8,000 voice subscribers.

"We're confident in executing our strategy organically", Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said during a conference call, commenting on the Bloomberg report.