Verizon reports 20% decline in profits, as unlimited plans prevent steeper wireless losses

Credit: geekwire.com

Verizon’s wireless customers, in millions.

Verizon Communications’ quarterly profits fell by nearly 20 percent in the first quarter, to $3.5 billion, as the company’s wireless business reported a decline of more than 300,000 postpaid phone subscribers, the coveted class of customers on lucrative monthly wireless plans.


The New York-based telecom giant said the decline in wireless subscribers would have been steeper had it not brought back unlimited data plans in February, a move that brought its offerings more in line with smaller rivals AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.


Here’s how the company explains the impact of the unlimited plan in its earnings report.


The launch of Verizon Unlimited positively changed the trajectory of customer additions in the quarter. A net decline of 307,000 retail postpaid connections in first-quarter 2017 included 289,000 phone losses. Prior to the launch in mid-February, Verizon had a retail postpaid phone net loss of 398,000; after the launch, Verizon added 109,000 retail postpaid phone connections. For the entire quarter, Verizon added a net of 49,000 smartphones to its retail postpaid phone base.


Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement, “Our first-quarter results again demonstrated that customers value a high-quality network experience. To build on our loyal customer base and the third-party recognition we have received for network leadership, we extended our wireless and fiber network capabilities, began offering an unlimited pricing option and expanded our opportunities in new markets. We’re executing on strategies to capture future growth and create long-term shareholder value.”


Verizon is in the process of acquiring Yahoo, which said this week that it expects the revised $4.48 billion deal to be completed in June. Separately, McAdam said this week that Verizon is open to potential merger talks with other corporate giants such as Comcast or Disney.


T-Mobile, the Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless company, has been steadily adding subscribers in recent years, led by outspoken CEO John Legere. T-Mobile poked at Verizon yet again this morning with a public-relations stunt tied to Verizon’s earnings release on 4/20.


Top Stories

Doctor Who review: Bill and the Timelord must grin and bear it in Smile

“There’s a giant smiley abattoir, and I’m having this childish impulse to blow it up.”
  • 13 hours ago
  • 6

Watch ‘Science Guy’ Bill Nye’s epic defense of science at ‘March for Science’ in Washington, D.C.

Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” the television personality and former Boeing engineer who got his start in Seattle TV sketch comedy, gave a rousing speech in defense of science at the March for Science today in Washington, D.C. — to the traditional chant of “Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!” from the crowd. Watch his address above and continue reading for a transcript. Bill Nye, Planetary Society CEO and host of “Bill Nye Saves The World.” Greetings, greetings, follow citizens! We are marching today to remind people everywhere — our lawmakers, especially — of the significance of science for our health and prosperity. The process of science… Read More
  • 15 hours ago
  • 1

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 2 minutes ago
  • 0

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 2 minutes ago
  • 0

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 2 minutes ago
  • 0
farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Technology

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 1 minute ago

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 1 minute ago

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 2 minutes ago

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 2 minutes ago

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017

See the technology stories that people were reading on GeekWire for the week of April 16, 2017.… Read More
  • 2 minutes ago

Doctor Who review: Bill and the Timelord must grin and bear it in Smile

“There’s a giant smiley abattoir, and I’m having this childish impulse to blow it up.”
  • 13 hours ago

Scenes from the ‘other Washington’: D.C.’s March for Science sparks a chain reaction

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The scenery for the world’s most watched March for Science may have featured the political icons of the nation’s capital, but the weather was pure Seattle. Today’s rally brought thousands of people to the National Mall for hours’ worth of teach-ins and speeches, despite a Seattle-style drizzle. Bill Nye the Science Guy, a co-chair for the national March for Science movement, struck on the theme of the day when he noted that many policymakers in Washington and around the world were “deliberately and actively suppressing science.” He also noted the stereotypical view of scientists as detached nerds who dwell… Read More
  • 16 hours ago

‘The oceans are rising and so are we.’ Photos, tweets, and more from Seattle’s March for Science

It’s a soggy Seattle Saturday but that didn’t deter thousands of activists from marching for climate research and sound science policy today. A huge assembly marched from Cal Anderson park in Capitol Hill to the International Fountain at Seattle Center, many chanting “the oceans are rising and so are we.” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray came out to show their support. Seattle’s March for Science is one of countless events taking place across the country in honor of Earth Day. Many of the people bracing the fickle April elements are protesting President Trump’s actions related to climate change… Read More
  • 19 hours ago

Week in Geek: Facebook tries telepathic typing, inside an Amazon greenhouse, and more

Are you ready to type with just your brain? Facebook revealed this week that it’s working with a team of more than 60 scientists around the world to develop what it calls a “silent speech” interface to decode human thoughts and convert them to text. We debate the potential benefits and risks of this futuristic technology on this episode of the Week in Geek, our weekly tech news podcast. In other news, Google parent Alphabet is looking for 10,000 volunteers around the world to share personal medical information over the course of four years. The goal is to get a big-picture look at human health and track possible… Read More
  • 1 day ago

This Week in Seattle: Mayoral race heats up with income tax proposals and new contenders

This week in Seattle: The mayoral race heats up; Scoop partners with the city to promote carpooling; Earth Day celebrations kick off; and Gov. Inslee calls for a special session. Seattle celebrates Earth Day like the nature freaks we are Happy Earth Day! There are events all around town today celebrating this gorgeous blue planet we call home. Champions of government-sponsored science research and policies that support those programs will March for Science at Cal Anderson Park. Local, sustainable food advocates should head over to MOHAI for the Edible City Science Fair. The Student Conservation Association is planning a day… Read More
  • 1 day ago

Russian man gets longest-ever US hacking sentence, 27 years in prison

Roman Seleznev bankrupted businesses, did $170 million in damage.
  • 2 days ago

Seahawks star Russell Wilson, astronaut Buzz Aldrin share inspiration with students at WE Day

Write down your goals, listen more, and dream big. These are good pieces of advice for anyone, really, but they held special importance for more than 15,000 students who gathered inside an energetic Key Arena on Friday in Seattle for WE Day, an annual event that celebrates youth empowerment. WE Day events, hosted by non-profit WE, are attended annually by more than 200,000 students from more than 10,000 schools in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Students earn tickets by participating in local WE Schools programs. There were several celebrities who spoke on stage Friday in Seattle, including space icon Buzz Aldrin. The Apollo… Read More
  • 2 days ago