Verizon loses wireless customers in 1Q17 earnings report

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For the first time, Verizon Wireless lost more subscribers than it could sign up. That news is one troubling development on top of other worrying ones in the company’s first quarter earnings report.

The carrier lost 324,000 subscribers in the three-month period with 307,000 of them in the postpaid sector. This pales with postpaid net of 640,000 a year ago and quarter upon quarter of million-plus adds before 2016. Retail connections totaled 113.9 million at the end of the quarter.

Wireless revenues continue to decline, down 5.1 percent to $20.9 billion. Operating income dropped 2.3 percent to $13.8 billion. Average customer bills, while still highest in the industry, have dropped $3.09 to $166.01 from the fourth quarter. Costs peaked in the third quarter of last year at $169.49. Postpaid churn has tracked up to a high at 1.15 percent

Company-wide, overall revenues were down 7.3 percent to $29.8 billion and net income fell 20 percent to $3.55 billion. A Thomson Reuters analysts’ aggregate put down a goal of $30.5 billion in revenue.

The Verizon Unlimited plan that was introduced this year has yet to take hold with consumers and is seen to be an extremely late response to the value war in the industry stirred up by T-Mobile and Sprint. It follows what was characterized as a half-hearted move last summer to introduce features that would cut down on overage fees. Big Red has been shoring up its appeal with device exclusives like Motorola’s DROIDs and the Google Pixel.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.