Verizon sheds subscribers amidst coronavirus crisis

(Image credit: Verizon)

Verizon has updated its guidance due to the “unprecedented magnitude of current conditions” that saw it lose 68,000 subscribers during the first quarter of 2020.

In order to maintain social distancing, the US operator has closed more than two thirds of it stores and reduced the trading hours of outlets that remain open for business. These stores have also stopped selling smartphones, with customers required to purchase handsets online.

This lack of activity has resulted in a slump in device income but the coronavirus crisis has resulted in a 1.9 per cent rise in service revenue. Overall, operating revenues were down 1.6 per cent to $31.6 billion.

Verizon results

The figures would add credibility to theories that despite increased demand for connectivity during the outbreak, mobile operators will not immediately benefit because off declining economic activity and an inability to monetise increased data consumption among consumers.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said he was pleased with the robustness of Verizon’s business despite the uncertainty.

“Verizon began 2020 with strong operational performance," he said. “In an unprecedented time, Verizon took decisive and balanced actions that will serve our stakeholders in the long term, including protecting our employees, maintaining our network quality and reliability, serving our customers, and supporting our communities.

“We will emerge from this crisis stronger, knowing we provided critical connectivity to our customers, and especially our first responders, while maintaining our commitment to investing in our 5G and fibre strategies. We are particularly proud of our employees who continue to deliver essential services to our customers and those on the front lines so they can serve others.”

Earlier this month, Verizon Business entered into an agreement to acquire business videoconferencing specialist BlueJeans. The hope is that the platform will strengthen Verizon’s unified communications offering and tap into the exploding demand for remote working tools.  

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.