Earnings, Subscribers Up For Verizon In First Quarter 2013
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The year got off to a good start for Verizon. A first quarter 2013 earnings call reported a 4.2-percent year-over-year increase in total operating revenues. The company experienced growth in several sectors, including wireless where it renewed contracts and added new subscribers.
Verizon wireless added 677,000 new subscribers, up 35 percent from the first quarter last year. Including prepaid accounts, Verizon added a total of 720,000 new connections during the first quarter. The carrier also experienced a low churn rate of 1.01 percent. The wireless division reports a total of 98.9 million retail connections, which includes 93.2 million subscribers on contract.
The saturation of smartphones continues to grow. Smartphones comprise over 61 percent of the Verizon Wireless subscriber network, up from 58 percent in Q4 2012. Among the smartphones on its network, Verizon claims it activated 7.2 million smartphone devices in Q1, including 4 million iPhones, GigaOm reports.
The carrier continues its 4G LTE push, and provides service for 287 million people in 491 markets across the country. To support its 4G LTE service, Verizon continues to add smartphones, tablets and other devices in its offering.
Devices introduced during the first quarter include the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, the BlackBerry Z10, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, Verizon 4G LTE USB Modem UML295 by Pantech, and the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L by Novatel Wireless. Verizon began the second quarter with new devices including the Lucid 2 by LG and the Verizon 4G LTE Router.
Wireline services from Verizon also continue to see growth. The company added 188,000 FiOS internet and 169,000 FiOS Video subscribers, which increased revenue 15.1 percent to reach $2.6 billion. FiOS penetration, the number of subscribers as a percentage of potential subscribers, continues to grow. FiOS internet penetration was 38.2 percent by the end of Q1, compared to 36.4 percent for the same period a year ago. FiOS Video experienced growth as well. Q1 ended with 34.1 percent penetration, compared with 32.3 percent for the same period a year before. The FiOS network passed 17.8 million premises, a number that combines internet and TV with some overlap, by the end of the first quarter.
As with the LTE rollout, Verizon is updating its wireline offerings by replacing copper networks (which Verizon calls high-maintenance) with fiber optics (Verizon’s FiOS service). Verizon migrated 83,000 homes to fiber in the first quarter. The company stated a target of 300,000 migrations within FiOS markets in 2013.
Verizon is also in the process of increasing its footprint among businesses with fiber solutions.
“Verizon is off to an excellent start in 2013,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, in a company statement on the earnings. “Our strategic investments in wireless, wireline and global networks have given us the platforms to sustain momentum and take advantage of growth opportunities in key markets for broadband, video and cloud services. With ongoing improvements in operating efficiency, we expect continued growth in free cash flow and earnings as we move through the year.”