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Verizon's third-quarter revenue grows as people continue to upgrade to 5G phones

The carrier revealed that over 25% of its consumer wireless users have now upgraded to a 5G device.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon is making progress upgrading its user base to 5G phones. During its third-quarter earnings announcement on Wednesday, the nation's largest wireless provider revealed that "more than one in four consumer wireless phone customers now have a 5G-capable device." 

In July the company said it had upgraded "approximately 20%" of its wireless customers to new devices. The continued boost in 5G adoption once again helped grow Verizon's revenues in the quarter. 

The carrier reported an adjusted earnings-per-share of $1.41 on revenues of $32.9 billion. Analysts, as polled by Yahoo Finance, expected an EPS of $1.36 with revenues of $33.2 billion. Shares of Verizon were up by more than 2% in morning trading. 

Verizon has aggressively encouraged 5G phone upgrades and has spent the last few months rolling out upgrade offers to new and existing customers. It has incentivized the moves by offering deep discounts on new devices if consumers were willing to trade in their current phones and sign up for or switch to one of its pricier unlimited plans, known as Do More, Play More or Get More. 

The promotions seem to still be working. During the quarter the company's consumer division reported a net addition of 423,000 wireless postpaid customers. Of that number, 267,000 were phones and 223,000 were "other connected" devices. The carrier lost 67,000 tablet users during the period. 

Postpaid accounts, belonging to customers who pay their bills at the end of the month, are valued more highly by the investment community as a key metric for carriers' success.

Revenue from the company's consumer wireless division was $14 billion in the quarter, which it says is a 4% increase from 2020. 

In its business division, Verizon said it had 276,000 wireless postpaid net additions, of which 162,000 were phone users. 

Beyond wireless, the company says it had a net addition of 98,000 consumer Fios Internet users, while it lost 68,000 Fios Video customers as people continue to cut the cord.