Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, today announced it added 1.1 million net new retail customers in the second quarter, up 34 percent from the second quarter 2001, and reduced retail churn to 2.0 percent.
Total retail customers grew by 12 percent year over year to 28.9 million, the result of aggressive churn management and a 12 percent increase in gross retail additions. Retail customers now represent more than 95 percent of the company's total customers and 98 percent of total revenue.
The strong retail net add performance is the result of the company's focus on network superiority including the company's national 1X network, its high-value contract price plans that leverage the company's wide geography, and churn management initiatives.
Total customers increased by 723,000 in the quarter to 30.3 million, an 8.5 percent increase year-over-year. The retail churn of 2.0 percent was down from 2.2 percent the prior year, and down from 2.3 in the first quarter. Total company churn, including retail and wholesale, was 2.3 percent, flat from the prior year quarter.
The company's reseller base decreased by 378,000 subscribers during the quarter, closing at 1.4 million resale customers. Verizon Wireless and WorldCom have signed a referral agreement to facilitate some of the remaining 310,000 WorldCom customers entering into contracts directly with Verizon Wireless.
The company continued to build on the momentum of its pricing, messaging and data innovations deployed earlier this year. During the quarter, the company introduced ground breaking flat-rate pricing options for its national 1X Express NetworkSM, the first and only sizeable next-generation wireless data network in the country. The company also launched a strategic alliance with Microsoft for co-developed and jointly marketed wireless data offerings for enterprise customers and consumers. In the second quarter, two-way text messaging volume continued to grow dramatically, doubling over the first quarter's usage.
Verizon Wireless' previously announced acquisition of Price Communications is on schedule to close in August, and will further increase the company's customer base by approximately 500,000 customers.
"While our second quarter subscriber growth is strong on its own, it is the combination with our strong financial performance that will be reported later this week that makes this an exceptional quarter," said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. "We continue to execute on our disciplined strategy of quality network, quality customer base and profitability."
Full performance results for Verizon Wireless for the second quarter will be included in Verizon Communications' announcement of financial results on July 31.