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Verizon has not finished 4G yet as it is growing subscribers



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Verizon reports strong wireless network growth for the third quarter of 2019.


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Wireless is where it is for Verizon. Just look at the latest quarterly results. The company continues to recruit new wireless customers when it goes city by city to roll out 5G. But all this growth comes from the traditional 4G LTE service, the proven Verizon service still working to market.

Meanwhile, the company sees the traditional video business sink as more and more customers cut the line for online services.

In the third quarter, Verizon added a total of 615,000 post-paid customers, the valuable customers who pay at the end of the month and tend to spend more money on service. It also added 444,000 prepaid subscribers.

But while Verizon fulfilled the wireless add-ons, it lost customers on its traditional cable line service. The company said it added 30,000 new customers to its Fios Internet business, but it lost 67,000 video customers as customers cut the cord and moved to streaming online video services.

In total, Verizon reported third-quarter revenue of $ 32.9 billion versus the $ 32.7 billion that analysts expected, according to Yahoo Finance. The company's wireless revenue was $ 23.6 billion, up 3% from the same quarter a year ago. This was just shy of analysts' estimates of $ 23.33 billion. Wireline revenue came in at $ 7.1 billion, down 4% from a year earlier.

All this comes when Verizon is plugged into a major network overhaul during the transition to 5G. This next generation of mobile technology will offer a tremendous speed increase and a smarter, more responsive network that can connect thousands of different devices around us. But the transformation takes time. Meanwhile, Verizon hits the gasoline to add new customers to the traditional 4G network.


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In August, the company announced campaigns to push its unlimited mix-and-match data plans, offering customers a $ 5 price cut from existing unlimited data offerings. The effort was intended to get more customers to sign up for unlimited data and drive them towards 5G in the future, said Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon, at a conference call Friday.

"This provides a way to get in unlimited and move up when 5G becomes available," he said of the conversation with analysts and investors. "We see opportunities in 4G as well. We can do that too and use our strength."

Meanwhile, the video market is also in a dramatic shift as consumers dump traditional paid TV services from cable and telecom companies for online services from companies such as Netflix and Amazon. And as media brands, such as Disney, launch their own streaming services, it puts even more pressure on companies like Verizon trying to sell packages of TV channels at the old school.

Verizon is also making this shift, as it looks to these power services to help increase their wireless services. On Thursday, the company announced that it is giving customers of its unlimited wireless plan 12 months of Disney Plus free of charge from November 12, the launch date for the streaming service. After the campaign period the subscription for the new power service will jump to $ 6.99.

Vestberg said that partnering with Disney is another way to grow wireless subscription growth.

"We have a great network and distribution," Vestberg said, adding that these factors make Verizon a good partner for a popular content provider like Disney. Verizon and Disney each benefit from being partners, he said. "Disney Plus is a win-win."

All of this is an attempt to continue to increase mobile subscriber numbers in the face of fierce competition from rivals, such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Meanwhile, Verizon continues to add 5G to several cities. On Friday, it announced that it is switching on its 5G service in two more cities, Dallas and Omaha giving the 5G network number to 15.

The addition to these two new cities sets Verizon's 5G network ahead of some of the rivals. Sprint has nine 5G cities and T-Mobile has six. AT&T is still in the lead in 21 cities in total, but unlike the other three carriers, consumers do not have full access to the network.

Verizon says it plans to have 5G in over 30 cities by the end of 2019.

Originally published on October 26 at 5:21 pm PT.
Updated 06:43 PT: Adds comments from Verizon's investor call.


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