Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Verizon makes gains in FiOS and wireless customers

Verizon makes gains in FiOS and wireless customers

Verizon today announced the addition of 1.5 million new wireless customers and 263,000 new FiOS TV customers, on a net basis, in delivering financial results showing a 5.5% rise in revenues to $23.8 billion.

"Results for the first quarter were strong and demonstrate that we weathered the economic uncertainty," said Verizon CFO Doreen Toben, in a conference call with financial analysts today.

"Our key growth areas -- wireless, FiOS, and enterprise strategic services -- continue to drive results," she said.

Verizon's results for the quarter included a 23.5% increase in Verizon Business strategic services. Toben also noted t that Verizon had paid $9.36 billion during the quarter for 700 MHz licenses, to be used for a new 4G LTE infrastructure.

"The acquisition of 700 MHz licenses clearly enhanced our spectrum position and we achieved all of the objectives we had going into the auction," Toben told the analysts. "Our first goal was to obtain nationwide clear spectrum to maximize our growth potential. We also wanted to increase the depth and breadth of our footprint, particularly as it related to future capacity in key markets."

Verizon's net adds on the wireless side amounted to 11.5%, a gain characterized by Verizon officials as the highest in the industry. In total, Verizon now has 67.2 million wireless customers.

Other advances during the quarter included 262,000 new customers for FiOS Internet, for totals of 1.8 million FiOS Internet and 1.2 million FiOS TV customers. The numbers of total broadband customers for Verizon jumped 14.9% to 8.5 million. Aside from FiOS, Verizon offers DSL broadband services.

At the same time, however, Verizon is starting to sell off some of its traditional access lines in rural areas, as customers move to cellular phones.

Verizon has already sold landline operations in northern New England to FairPoint Communications, for example. Before that, the company sold some operations in Hawaii.

But during a Q&A today, officials were noncommittal as to Verizon's plans for future sales of landline operations.

"We're very pleased that we finally got into conclusion in New England with FairPoint," said Denny Strigl, Verizon's president and COO. "We think overall [it is] a good deal for both parties relative to looking at other access lines. I think it's important to say we always look at possibilities but nothing [is] planned at the present."

Source: betanews.com

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