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.