The company announced the first quarter earning results that show a troubling start for the telecommunications service provider, losing 398,000 retail postpaid phone subscribers before turning things around with unlimited smartphone data plans.
Still, Verizon ended up losing customers for the first quarter ending on March 31st. It experienced a gain of 109,000 retail postpaid phone connections after the launch of unlimited data, resulting in the final toll of 289,000 lost customers.
“The launch of Verizon Unlimited positively changed the trajectory of customer additions in the quarter,” Verizon said. It also offered insights into both wireless and wireline users, as well as projections and expectations for the full year results.
In total, the company has 113.9 million retail wireless connections with postpaid smartphone plans taking up the bulk of that. Total revenue in first-quarter 2017 for wireless users was $20.9 billion (a 5.1 percent decline compared with first-quarter 2016), due to decreased average revenue, lower postpaid customers in the quarter and continued promotional activity.
Total Fios (Verizon’s fast fiber-optic internet and Wi-Fi service) revenues grew 4.7 percent, to $2.9 billion. This supported revenue growth of 0.7 percent in consumer markets and 2.3 percent in business markets.
Verizon’s total operating revenues, including wireline services, were $29.8 billion in the first quarter, a decrease of 7.3 percent year-over-year. Net income was $3.6 billion, down 19.8 percent compared to same period last year.
Although Verizon still has the most wireless subscribers in the US, it’s rival T-Mobile USA gained millions of customers during the course of past few years by offering more attractive deals than AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile is for the most part responsible for the return of unlimited data plans to the US mobile market, as T-Mobile’s popular unlimited plan practically forced Verizon to follow suit and make its own.
However, there are certain limits to the unlimited plan in terms of slower speeds at certain times. There are no fees for going over a data cap (22 GB on Verizon, 30 GB on T-Mobile) but speeds can be throttled during times of network congestion for customers using unlimited plans.
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