Verizon Continues to Lose Wireless Customers, Though Home Internet Shows Growth

The nation's largest carrier continues to see phone users flee.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read
Verizon logo on a phone screen
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Verizon gained some wireless users last quarter, but the uptick appears to have been short-lived. On Tuesday the carrier reported a net loss of 127,000 postpaid phone users for its first quarter. Its business unit's 136,000 phone net additions was unable to offset a consumer division that saw a net loss of 263,000 phone users.

Postpaid users, or those who pay their phone bill at the end of the month, are a metric used by the wireless industry as an indicator of a carrier's success. 

Consumer wireless struggles have become a trend for Verizon in recent quarters. Even with the decline in subscribers, wireless service revenue for the segment was up 2.5% year-over-year. The carrier credited the increase to "a larger allocation of administrative and telco recovery fees from other revenue into wireless service revenue." 

Verizon has hiked its rates on a number of its older plans over the last year, most recently adding a new fee to some older unlimited plans in February.

After T-Mobile unveiled its latest unlimited plans last week, Verizon sent out invites to the press teasing an event of its own on May 15. It remains to be seen what the carrier will do. 

While the wireless phone unit has struggled, the carrier did see significant growth in its broadband division. Verizon added 437,000 broadband users over the quarter, 393,000 of which were fixed wireless users. That growth marks an increase from the 379,000 fixed wireless users it added last quarter. 

Revenue for Verizon was $32.9 billion, below the average of analyst estimates of $33.57 billion according to Yahoo Finance. On an adjusted basis, its earnings per share was $1.20 for the quarter, in line with analyst expectations.