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Verizon outpaces AT&T in users, weaker on data

updated 08:30 am EDT, Mon April 27, 2009

Verizon Q1 2009 Results

Verizon on Monday claimed to have defied the economy with results for the first quarter of the year that were particularly strong. The company said it added 1.3 million new cellphone subscribers outside of its Alltel takeover, bringing it to 86.6 million total users. The company also notes that its revenue from wireless data also spiked 56.2 percent from a year earlier to $3.6 billion and that the amount of churn, or turnover of old subscribers replaced with new, was very low at just over 1.1 percent.

The carrier doesn't explain the sudden gain, though the winter was the first full quarter of sales for its flagship BlackBerry Storm smartphone, which depends on 3G for data.

As a whole, the company's revenue surged 29.6 percent year-over-year to $15.1 billion, though it doesn't say how much of this stemmed from adding customers through the Alltel deal.

However, the results also show relatively poor income from users compared to AT&T. While the average data revenue from a user grew 20.8 percent, it peaked at $14.16, or half the value of a typical $30 smartphone plan. Where AT&T's total average revenue per person grew based on iPhone sales to over $59, Verizon's ultimately fell slightly to $50.74. Its operating income margin was also much lower at 28.2 percent versus AT&T's 40.9 percent.

The company didn't provide an outlook for its expected performance this spring.

by MacNN Staff



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