Verizon hailed its 5G progress during the second quarter, noting 20 per cent of its phone subscribers had compatible devices, the bulk of which were C-Band capable.
On the company’s earnings call, CEO Hans Vestberg (pictured) noted more Verizon customers are using digital channels to purchase phones, though there was also an increase in footfall in retail outlets.
With all stores reopened, traffic is “not really back to pre-pandemic days, but really fairly close”.
Verizon has been promoting 5G phones with deep discounts, covering the costs of the device and switching network. These promotions helped drive its device upgrade rate to 4.6 per cent from 3.7 per cent in Q2 2020.
CFO Matt Ellis told analysts he expects equipment revenue to remain strong during the second half of the year, driven in part by the introduction of new 5G phones.
Verizon also highlighted wireless services as a key contributor to revenue growth. The operator has content deals with Disney Plus, Apple Arcade and Google Play, among others, with various deals being used to lure subscribers to its network.
Vestberg explained Verizon gets “our fair share” of customer conversions from free trial periods to full content subscriptions, which contributes “incremental revenue and incremental profit”.
Net income in Q2 of $5.9 billion was 22.9 per cent higher than the comparable period of 2020, with wireless service revenue up 5.9 per cent to $16.9 billion. Total operating revenue rose 10.9 per cent to $33.8 billion.
The operator revised its full-year earnings per share forecast to between $5.25 and $5.35 per share from a previous range of $5 to $5.15.
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