The US’s largest mobile operator, Verizon Wireless, says it added 723,000 net new customers in Q2 2002. The figure was more than double analysts’ consensus estimates of 300,000, leaving Verizon Wireless with 30.3 million customers.
The news brought a share price rally in the wireless sector. Shares in Verizon Wireless’ co-owners Verizon Communications and Vodafone were up 5.7% and 4.4% respectively, while shares in operators Nextel and Sprint PCS also rose.
A driver behind the company’s success was its recognition that US mobile telecoms is becoming a volume market. Verizon Wireless cut its deposit requirement for low-end customers from $500 to just $100, and brought in significant sales through a joint venture with cut-price electronics retailer RadioShack.
However, CEO and president Dennis Strigl says that Verizon Wireless hasn’t had to compromise on financial performance to win over the new customers. According to Mr Strigl, the company has combined strong subscriber growth with positive financial results. These figures are due out later in the week.