Uncommon Wisdom

Jul 28 2009   11:10AM GMT

Verizon’s Q2 earnings indicate difficult voice migration

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Verizon reported earnings and the results were in some ways alarming. The company’s net income fell 21%. Neglecting the Alltel acquisition, revenues grew less than 2%, about a third of prior-year levels. While wireless and FiOS were strong, Verizon (like AT&T) saw business and wireline revenues decline.

The announcement that the company will cut another 8,000 jobs will hearten Wall Street, and many attribute this to prudent response to revenue decline, but we think it’s really something different. Like all wireline/wireless providers, Verizon is finding it attractive to transition its wireline voice customers to either a wireline package like FiOS that creates ARPU, or to wireless. In the case of wireless, the result is a reduction in operations costs, since wireless has no “installation” or outside plant maintenance on a per-customer basis.

In short, Verizon and other operators are now looking at getting out of the wireline voice business, at least in the sense that they’re actively hoping to migrate any voice user to something more profitable.

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