According to Verizon, which reported quarterly earnings Monday, its Verizon Wireless division added 1.4 new mobile subscribers in the fourth quarter, a drop from the 2 million it added in 2007's final quarter. The subscriber drop comes in a quarter where Verizon added one of its most sought-after devices to its roster, the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, seen to be a strong rival to the Apple iPhone on AT&T's network. Verizon did not indicate how many BlackBerry Storm smartphones were sold in the fourth quarter, figures many financial analysts were anticipating.
Despite the dip in mobile subscribers, Verizon Wireless still saw double-digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter, hitting $12.8 billion, up 12.3 percent year over year. Verizon Wireless' full-year revenue was $49.3 billion, up 12.4 percent. And service revenue in the fourth quarter was up 12 percent year over year to $11.1 billion and up 12.2 percent for the full year, reaching $42.6 billion.
Overall, Verizon's revenue was $24.6 billion in the fourth quarter, up 3.4 percent from last year. Its full-year revenue for 2008 reached $97.4 billion, up 4.2 percent from 2007.
While Verizon slipped on mobile subscribers, increased interest in its FiOS television and Internet offerings helped bring in additional revenue. In the fourth quarter, Verizon added 303,000 new FiOS TV customers and 282,000 new FiOS Internet customers, the highest number of quarterly signups since it launched FiOS services.
"Verizon has shown that it is able to compete effectively in this economic environment," said Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg in a statement. "We grew profits and maintained strong cash flows throughout 2008. In the fourth quarter, we continued to produce top-line growth, fueled by strong sales volumes for broadband, wireless and strategic business services. We have built a solid foundation to continue to create value for our customers and shareholders in 2009 and beyond."
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