Verizon had a rough Q1, at least according to analysts and interpretations over their earnings numbers. After looking at their net new subscribers, it appears as if they lost phone subscribers for the first time in their history – yikes. CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo isn’t worried, though (of course he isn’t), saying today at the Jefferies Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that his company will not overreact to the changes in the industry that T-Mobile and AT&T have quickly adopted. Verizon will “react rationally” to market changes and also hope that their new MORE Everything and Edge programs continue to pick up steam.
In other words, Verizon is not ready to follow T-Mobile, which has decided to give up on making money with service contracts and is instead playing their hand in the hardware installment plan business. AT&T seems to have adjusted to this model as well, which at least in the short term, seems to have been a smart move. While Verizon really only saw growth in tablet add-ons in Q1, AT&T and T-Mobile both added plenty of new phone customers. As you may recall from last week, T-Mobile rolled in 1.3 million postpaid subscribers and almost 2.4 million total net adds.
Shammo did note that Verizon ended the quarter much better than they entered it, saying that he feels much better about the outlook of Q2.
In the end, your take-away should be that Verizon is going to continue doing what it has always done. Contracts will play a big role in their business, as will the focus on the reliability of their network.