During Verizon’s third quarter 2021 earnings call this morning, company executives talked quite a bit about fixed wireless access (FWA) as well as its wireline service Fios. And Fios is not something Verizon has talked about much the last few years.
Verizon reported 129,000 broadband net additions, comprised of Fios, DSL and FWA subscribers, during the quarter. Of that, FWA accounted for 55,000 net adds. The company said it had approximately 150,000 total subscribers on FWA at the end of the quarter.
On the call with investors, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said, “We’re on track to meet our fixed wireless access household coverage targets with an expected 15 million homes passed by the end of the year between 4G and 5G. To date, 5G Home is in 57 markets and 4G LTE Home is in over 200 markets across all 50 states.”
Verizon first began offering 4G LTE Home in July 2020 and has really accelerated its rollout. The company has also rolled out 5G Home.
Vestberg said, “In addition to fixed wireless access, we’re pleased with the great performance of Fios and continue to grow the open-for-sale volumes within our footprint.”
Total broadband net adds, defined as Fios, DSL and fixed wireless access were 129,000. Of that, Fios Internet net adds were 104,000.
Verizon is increasing its Fios, adding over 400,000 open-for-sale locations this year. One analyst noted that Verizon hasn’t talked about increasing its Fios brand within its ILEC for quite some time.
Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said, “On the Fios expansion, we see great opportunity. We have been investing in that for a number of years; maybe haven’t spoken about it quite as much. But it continues to be a very good growth driver for the business.”
The company reported that Fios revenue of $3.2 billion in the quarter was up 4.7% year over year, driven by continued growth in customers as well as Verizon’s effort to increase the value of each customer by encouraging them to step up in speed tiers.
“We remain focused on bringing in high-quality net adds,” said Elllis. “The mix and match pricing structure for both wireless and Fios provides opportunity to migrate customers to higher value tiers and bring in customers on higher value plans. Our strategy is focused on increasing the value we receive from every connection.”
Vestberg said, “Our strategy is becoming a national broadband provider with the best access to the tech for our customers, including Fios, fixed wireless access on 5G, on 4G, mmwave and C-band.”
Verizon’s Q3 numbers
Total consolidated operating revenues in Q3 2021 were $32.9 billion, up 4.3% from the third-quarter 2020. These results included two months of Verizon Media revenue of approximately $1.4 billion. Verizon Media was sold to Apollo on September 1. Excluding Verizon Media, total consolidated operating revenues increased 5.5%.
The company also increased its guidance. In wireless, it now expects total wireless service revenue growth of around 4%, an increase to prior guidance of 3.5% to 4%. The company now expects adjusted earnings per share of $5.35 to $5.40, an update from prior guidance of $5.25 to $5.35.