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Amid competition, Verizon loses key customers for first time


Verizon's decision in recent years to give away free tablets as a way to juice subscriber numbers is also coming back to haunt it, as numerous customers who signed up for two-year data plans in exchange for a free tablet aren't renewing their subscriptions.

Verizon, the once-unstoppable cellphone leader in the US, lost key wireless customers for the first time, even as it brought back unlimited data plans to counter smaller rivals. T-Mobile and Sprint have been trumpeting their cheaper unlimited plans. The cheap unlimited T-Mobile One plan that it rolled out previous year has seen T-Mobile poach customers from the other three big mobile carriers.

Total operating revenue fell to $29.81 billion from $32.17 billion a year earlier.

It's a major milestone for Verizon, which on Thursday reported a net decline of 289,000 cellphone subscribers over the past four months. Considering that analysts expected Verizon to add almost 250,000 customers in the first quarter, that's dire. Long-term, the shift to unlimited is likely to hurt Verizon's profits, as it's simply less profitable to sell an unlimited data plan for $80 than it is to sell 10GB of data for $140.

Wireless revenues were $20.9bn, down 5 per cent year-over-year.

In the first three months of the year, Verizon lost 307,000 wireless subscribers who are billed each month, the more lucrative kind of wireless customer.

The deal brings to Verizon Yahoo's more than 1 billion users and a wealth of data it can use to offer more targeted advertising.

Oklahoma sheriff's deputy dies after shooting
The stolen vehicle was later found abandoned and investigators believe Leforce may have fled on foot. Wade was married with three children and had worked for the sheriff's office about three years.

Verizon has been able to retain customers thanks to its high-quality network. That's insane. I can't even tell you the last time Verizon lost phone customers.

Industry analysts have questioned whether the company will pursue a more transformative deal as its main competitor AT&T seeks to diversify its business through a planned acquisition of Time Warner. These results failed to meet the expectations of Wall Street. But Verizon doubled down in 2014 with its $130 billion purchase of Vodafone Group PLC's 45% stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture.

On Thursday, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Ellis clarified the comments, saying that while the company would consider deals that are in the interest of shareholders, it is confident in its assets.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts had expected adjusted earnings per share of 99 cents and revenue of $30.77 billion.

For its Fios service, Verizon added 35,000 internet subscribers, lost 13,000 cable subscribers and lost 8,000 voice subscribers.

Verizon expects improvement in wireless service revenue this year, with total revenue "fairly consistent" with 2016. Something seems to have changed in 2017, though, as the company just reported what may be their worst quarter ever, a quarter that was actually on pace to be even worse if not for the introduction of Verizon Unlimited.

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