Rising demand for mobile data boosted Verizon Wireless’ third-quarter financial results amid a slump in new customers, the company reported today.
Verizon Wireless said sales of mobile data to its retail customers rose nearly 23 percent to $4.8 billion. Retail data ARPU rose 19 percent to $18.61, helping push total retail ARPU to $51.99.
Data revenues now comprise more than 35 percent of the operator’s overall service revenues. Last year, sales of mobile data comprised 30.5 percent of Verizon’s overall sales.
Rising demand for mobile data helped offset sluggish growth in Verizon’s customer base. The operator saw the number of its net new subscribers slip 15 percent to 997,000 in the third quarter. Last year, the operator added 1.18 million new customers.
Verizon Wireless is fighting to attract new customers amid rising competition and high saturation of the wireless market. Verizon added just 447,000 net new retail customers in the third quarter, less than half of the 916,000 retail customers who signed up for its services last year. The company has 93.2 million customers and the total number of connections to its network total 101.1 million.
The company posted operating profit of $4.85 billion on improved operating margin and an uptick in sales, which hit $16.25 billion over last year’s $15.3 billion.
Shares of Verizon Wireless’ parent company, Verizon Communications, were down slightly in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, slipping 45 cents to $32.07 just after 10 a.m. Central.