Verizon’s Fios subscriber base crossed the 7 million mark for the first time in Q3, as the business pulled in thousands of new customers despite a tough market environment. But while the operator continues to build to new locations within its existing footprint, it doesn’t look like there are any major plans to expand into new territories on the horizon.
The operator added 61,000 total Fios customers across its Consumer and Business segments in the quarter. That figure was up sequentially from 36,000, but marked a sharp drop from 104,000 in Q3 2021. Still, the gain was enough to push Verizon’s Fios base to a total of 7.05 million.
Speaking on an earnings call, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said it will continue to expand its Fios footprint and open new locations for sale within its ILEC territory. Outside of that, however, he said it plans to continue to focus on building and marketing its fixed wireless access (FWA) product since it provides the operator with a faster time to market.
Asked directly if it might use its expansive OneFiber network for more fiber-to-the-home builds outside its ILEC territory, Vestberg indicated Verizon is more interested in using that asset for cell site backhaul and enterprise offerings.
“The demand in the market right now is high for broadband and we have a disruptive model where it takes low-single digits minutes to get broadband at home,” Vestberg said of its fixed wireless product. “So, we capture the market as soon as we can right now…We are confident about the strategy and it’s working.”
Verizon added 342,000 fixed wireless customers in the quarter, but lost 26,000 non-Fios wireline broadband subscribers, leaving it with 377,000 total broadband net additions.
Jamie Lumley, TMT Analyst at global research firm Third Bridge, told Fierce in a statement "Fixed wireless is a huge opportunity for Verizon but there is a lot of ground to make up to catch T-Mobile, which has a strong lead in terms of its customer base and coverage availability. Outside of fixed wireless, our experts say Verizon is well positioned within broadband connectivity for both businesses and residential."
Consolidated revenue of $34.2 billion rose 4% year on year but net income dropped 23.3% to $5 billion. Consumer Fios revenue of $2.9 billion was flat year on year, thanks in large part to video losses. Business Fios revenue rose nearly 6% to $304 million.
This story has been updated to include a comment from Third Bridge.