Verizon's customer losses totaled 398,000 in the first six weeks of 2017, with the company only turning things around when it relaunched unlimited smartphone data plans in February. It's the first time the the company has lost customers over a quarter.
However after gaining nearly 110,000 new customers when the unlimited plans launched, Verizon had a net loss of only 289,000 monthly customers in Q1, according to Ars Technica. Verizon has nearly 114 million retail wireless connections, and monthly postpaid smartphone plans make up the majority of those.
Verizon remains the top carrier for wireless subscribers in the U.S., but T-Mobile’s customer base has increased in recent years because it's offered better deals than AT&T and Verizon. Accorting to Ars Technica, T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan forced the other carriers to offer them as well in order to keep their customers.
It is the first time in seven years Verizon has offered unlimited data, which really isn’t unlimited. Data is throttled back to a very slow speed after a certain threshold is reached. AT&T offers a true unlimited data plan but at a much higher cost than Verizon’s $80 for one line. AT&T has made most of their data plans “unlimited,” with throttled data after a certain number of gigabytes are used.
Despite the huge customer losses, Verizon still posted a profit of $3.55 billion for the first quarter, or 85 cents a share. Revenue fell by 7.3 percent to $29.81 billion, CNET reported.
Some Twitter users were surprised about Verizon’s losses, while others gloated over the reversal.
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