Verizon 1Q

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DISH's bid for Sprint only affirms Verizon's strategy to partner with video providers, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said during the company's 1Q earnings call Thurs. The “quad play is extremely important,” which is why the telco partnered with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House in the 1st place, she said. Meanwhile, FiOS was the “foundation” of the telco's growth strategy in the consumer market during the quarter, Shammo said. Indeed, the telco added 188K FiOS Internet subs (vs 193K a year earlier) and 169K (vs 160K last year) TV subs during the quarter. At the end of 1Q, Verizon has 5.6mln FiOS broadband and 4.9mln FiOS TV subs, both up 12% YOY. FiOS now accounts for 69% of consumer revenue, partly stemming from the company's FiOS migration strategy: It upgraded 83K homes in its footprint to fiber from the legacy copper infrastructure during the quarter, some of which were Hurricane Sandy-related repairs. The goal is to connect 300K homes to fiber in FiOS markets this year. Shammo said FiOS subs are “buying up in the (speed) tiers,” helping to drive the consumer market revenue. About 27% of FiOS Internet subs are on Verizon's Quantum tiers, which offer speeds of 50Mbps. Aside from the obvious cost saving benefits, the conversion to fiber offers the potential for more FiOS services, which could result in additional ARPU over time. Despite FiOS growth, wireline revenue was down 1.2% YOY, partly because of the 89K DSL subs the company lost. When it comes to spectrum, Verizon is focused on ensuring the expected FCC spectrum auctions are designed in a way that allows Verizon to participate, Shammo said, declaring that bidding restrictions on particular companies could cause the auctions to fail. The telco is also looking at secondary spectrum market. Having said that, Verizon is “in a very good position with spectrum,” he said. Overall, the telco saw its net income rise 15.8% YOY to nearly $2bln. Total revenue was up 4.2% YOY.

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