Verizon Wireless today said its year-over-year quarterly revenue grew by 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the largest it's been in VZW's 11-year history. The company also touted strong cash flows and 18.2 percent shareholder returns in 2011, but none of it could mask the fact that VZW posted a loss of 71 cents in diluted earners per share (EPS), or a loss of $2.02 billion, compared with earnings of 93 cents a share, or a profit of $2.64 billion one year prior.
It's a little ironic for a company which likes to ask "Can you hear me now?" to remain silent at a time when its customers demand some answers. After three 4G LTE data outages in a single month, it's imperative for VZW to step up and say something that will restore customer confidence in its infrastructure, to say something that will convince potential new subscribers the recent issues are an anomaly, and just to say something, period.
December hasn’t been the best month for Verizon Wireless customers. First, the company’s 4G data networks have been acting up (and dropping out) seemingly every other day, and if that wasn’t enough of an inconvenience, now there’s this interesting tidbit: after years of encouraging customers to pay their cellular bills online, Verizon has pulled an abrupt 180-degree turn and now plans to charge customers a $2 “Convenience Fee” (doublespeak alert!) if they pay online or over the phone. Yep, starting January 15th, the priciest cellular option around is getting a wee bit pricier.
Verizon Wireless has made a name for itself by being rock-solid and having a huge 3G network. Things have been a bit more rocky since its 4G LTE network started taking off. Today, Big Red is having its third nationwide data outage in the month of December. Customers across the U.S. are reporting no 4G, and often no 3G data either.
Verizon might have been busy dealing with a couple of LTE outages as of late, but it has also had a chance to evaluate claims of poor 4G performance on the new Google flagship Galaxy Nexus Android phone. On that front; good news! An update is coming to “fix” the signal issues. Although, it turns out the fix is really just a change to how the signal bars are displayed.
Earlier today we reported that Verizon Wireless was experiencing its second data outage in as many weeks. Well, shortly ago Big Red gave the all clear saying that it fixed the issue an that all users should be back up and running. Any issues you are still having are entirely your own fault.
Have you heard about that nasty little bit of software called Carrier IQ? A security researcher by the name of Trevor Eckhart discovered the mysterious software running on his Android phone earlier this month, dug deeper into things, and found Carrier IQ, a monitoring program that comes preinstalled on several phones, tracks all kinds of data – including HTTP requests, GPS location and app usage information – and in many cases, can’t be turned off. Millions of phones are affected. Carrier IQ’s been found on phones from Samsung, HTC and Apple– but wireless carriers could be the real force behind the rootkit-like software.
Wireless spectrum: it’s what powers mobile communications and wireless carriers have an insatiable taste for more, more, MORE of it. The need for more spectrum is the reason Sprint keeps bailing Clearwire out of financial hot water and why AT&T is pushing so hard for a merger with T-Mobile. Verizon has pretty much been the only major carrier that hasn’t engaged in major spectrum-related deals this year – until now, that is. Today, Verizon announced it has reached a $3.6 billion deal to gobble up 122 spectrum licenses from three major cable companies.
The whole idea of having a mobile data cap blows, especially when you consider the things we're using our smartphones for, like downloading games, surfing all corners of the Web, streaming Netflix, tapping into streaming music, and so forth. Snug fitting data caps become even more bothersome when you have access to a fast 4G LTE connection, but there's a bit of relief in sight.
Overall it was another strong quarter for Verizon Communications, which added 882,000 retail postpaid wireless customers, plus another 367,000 wholesale and other connections for a total of 1.3 million connections in its third fiscal quarter for 2011. Smartphones accounted for 39 percent of Verizon's retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 36 percent in the second quarter, Verizon said.