Verizon Wireless Delivers Strong Customer and Revenue Growth
In fourth-quarter 2011, Verizon Wireless delivered the highest number of retail net additions in three years and strong growth in revenues, driven by increased smartphone penetration and increased retail postpaid ARPU (average monthly service revenue per user).
Wireless Financial Highlights
* Total revenues were $18.3 billion in fourth-quarter 2011, up 13.0 percent year over year. Data revenues were $6.3 billion, up more than $1.0 billion or 19.2 percent year over year, and represented 41.6 percent of all service revenues. Service revenues were $15.1 billion, up 6.4 percent year over year. For full-year 2011, total revenues were $70.2 billion, up 10.6 percent over full-year 2010, and service revenues were $59.2 billion in 2011, up 6.3 percent year over year.
* Retail service ARPU grew 2.6 percent over fourth-quarter 2010, to $53.14. Retail postpaid ARPU grew 2.5 percent, to $54.80. Retail postpaid data ARPU increased to $22.76, up 14.3 percent year over year.
* In fourth-quarter 2011, wireless operating income margin was 23.7 percent, and wireless generated $6.4 billion of EBITDA. Segment EBITDA margin on service revenues (non-GAAP) was 42.2 percent, down 530 basis points from fourth-quarter 2010. For full-year 2011, operating income margin was 26.4 percent, down 310 basis points from full-year 2010; Segment EBITDA margin was 44.8 percent, down 210 basis points.
Wireless Operational Highlights
* Verizon Wireless added 1.0 million total net connections in fourth-quarter 2011. The company added 1.5 million retail customers, including 1.2 million retail postpaid customers. While the wholesale channel grew during the fourth quarter, a loss of telematics customers resulted in a net decrease of 490,000 wholesale and other connections in the quarter. These totals exclude acquisitions and adjustments.
* At year-end 2011, the company had 108.7 million total connections, a 6.3 percent increase year over year, consisting of 92.2 million retail connections and 16.5 million wholesale and other connections.
* At year-end 2011, smartphones accounted for 44 percent of the Verizon Wireless retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 39 percent at the end of third-quarter 2011.
* Retail postpaid churn was 0.94 percent in fourth-quarter 2011, an improvement of 7 basis points year over year. Total retail churn was 1.23 percent, an improvement of 14 basis points year over year.
* Verizon Wireless continued to roll out its 4G LTE mobile broadband network, the largest 4G LTE network in the U.S. As of Monday (Jan. 23), Verizon Wireless 4G LTE service was available to more than 200 million people in 195 markets across the U.S.
* Verizon Wireless introduced six new 4G LTE devices in fourth-quarter 2011: the Droid Razr by Motorola; the Samsung Stratosphere; the HTC Rezound; the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung; and Droid Xyboard tablets in 10.1-inch and 8-inch form factors. Earlier this month, the company announced that six additional 4G LTE devices would be available in the coming weeks, including two mobile hotspots, now called Jetpacks, from ZTE and Novatel; three smartphones -- the Droid 4 and Droid Razr Maxx from Motorola, and the Spectrum from LG, which launched last week; and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.
* In December, Verizon Wireless announced agreements to purchase AWS licenses from SpectrumCo -- a joint venture of Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks -- and from Cox TMI Wireless. The spectrum licenses under the two agreements cover 93 percent of the U.S. population, and the purchases are subject to regulatory approval.
* Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network was ranked No. 1 on PC World's 100 Best Products of 2011 list. In October, RootMetrics ranked Verizon Wireless tops for network performance in Boston and 21 other cities nationwide; in November, Verizon Wireless won the RootMetrics RootScore award for data performance in 36 markets.
FiOS, Strategic Services Contribute to Revenue Growth
In fourth-quarter 2011, revenues and customers continued to increase for FiOS services, and sales of strategic services to business customers remained strong. Segment EBITDA margins (non-GAAP) also increased both sequentially and year over year.