Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Verizon Earnings Show Material Shift

Commentators have been noting heavy telephone company loss of voice lines for some years. These days, the commentary has shifted to gains in broadband, video and wireless data services. For good reason. Though it takes a longish while to materially shift revenue and cost structures at entities as large as tier one service providers, that shift is happening.

It is not simply that carriers know they must change their business models. They are changing them. And Denny Strigl, Verizon COO, hints of coming convergence between the FiOS and wireles service, as one would expect. In the future, there will be little end user distinction between wireless and wired network fabrics, in terms of ability to invoke and use services.

Verizon Communications reported second quarter wireless revenues up nearly 12 percent, with mobile data revenues growing more than 45 percent. Broadband and video revenues earned from end user customers (excluding wholesale) grew 52.9 percent year-over-year, and penetration rates for both FiOS Internet and FiOS TV were up. Penetration rates for FiOS Internet averaged 23.5 percent across all markets, up from 18.7 percent from last year, while FiOS TV penetration averaged 19.7 percent, up from 13.3 percent.

In fact, growing revenue from its broadband and video services help boost consumer average revenue per unit in Verizon’s otherwise stagnant wireline markets. APRU climbed to $63.76, up 10.4 percent from the same period last year. FiOS figures were even better, with FiOS customer figures coming in at more than $130 a month.

Verizon Business had revenue of $5.3 billion in the second quarter, up .9 percent from a year ago. Global enterprise revenue was up 1.7 percent to $4 billion. Revenue from IP, managed services, Ethernet and optical ring services grew at an 18.7 percent clip.

If new services revenue are not yet a "flood," they are more than a "trickle." And though analysts sometimes focus on consumer revenues, Verizon operates in enterprise and smaller business segments as well. In that regard, relatively robust enterprise revenues seems to have been matched with somewhat "weak" small business revenue.

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