iPhone, LTE Devices Help Verizon Wireless Add Subs Yet Again

Verizon Wireless refuses to rest on its position as the largest U.S. wireless carrier.

The mobile-phone giant grew its customer base and revenues yet again in the first quarter, adding 501,000 retail postpaid customers.

Verizon Wireless also increased its service EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin to 46.3 percent; that figure is up from 43.7 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Service revenues climbed 7.7 percent year over year to $15.4 billion, thanks largely to a surge in data revenues. Data revenues were $6.6 billion, up $1.1 billion or 21.1 percent, over the same period a year ago.

Web and email services revenues rose 35.8 percent while messaging revenues grew 4.1 percent.

Sales of Apple’s iPhone and other popular smartphones are helping to drive revenue growth due to the monthly data plans that are associated with the devices. The company sold 6.3 million smartphones in the first quarter, and Verizon Wireless reported that nearly 47 percent of its retail postpaid customer base now has smartphones.

The carrier’s retail service average revenue per user, or so-called ARPU, grew 3.4 percent to $53.66. Meanwhile, retail postpaid data ARPU grew 16 percent to $23.80.

In the first quarter, the company introduced a number of new 4G LTE devices, including Motorola’s Droid 4 and Droid Razr Maxx, LG’s Spectrum and Lucid and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. And last month, the company began selling Apple’s new iPad with Wi-Fi and 4G. Verizon Wireless sold 2.9 million 4G LTE devices in the first quarter.

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network covers more than 200 million Americans in 230 markets.

Total revenues at Verizon Wireless grew 8.2 percent year over year to $18.3 billion.

The company ended the first quarter with 93 million retail customers, including 88 million retail postpaid subscribers.


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