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Broadband

FWA remains a bright spot at Verizon as Fios sub growth softens

Fixed wireless access (FWA) was again the star for Verizon's home broadband business as strong, accelerated growth of FWA subscribers helped distract from the subscriber slowdown at its fiber-based Fios Internet segment.

Verizon raked in 256,000 FWA subscribers in the second quarter of 2022, up from the 194,000 it added in Q1 2022 and the 23,000 it added in the year-ago quarter.

Broken down further, Verizon added 168,000 consumer FWA subs in Q2 2022 (beating the 112,000 added in Q1 2022), for a grand total of 384,000.

Verizon added 88,000 business fixed wireless subs in Q1 2022 (versus 82,000 adds in Q1 2022), expanding that total to 316,000.

When the consumer and business FWA base is combined, Verizon now has more than 700,000 FWA subs.

Click here for a larger version of this image.  
(Source: Verizon Q2 2022 earnings presentation)
Click here for a larger version of this image.
(Source: Verizon Q2 2022 earnings presentation)

"Fixed wireless net adds have increased every month throughout 2022 and we expect to continue that trend in the third quarter," Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said on Friday's earnings call.

About 30% of FWA subscriber additions are new to Verizon. "FWA is just humming for us," CEO Hans Vestberg said.

Wireline softness

On the wireline side, Verizon added 30,000 fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) Fios Internet customers in Q2 2022, a slowdown from the 92,000 added in the year-ago period, and a result that was half the 60,000 gains expected by analysts. Verizon ended the quarter with 6.62 million Fios Internet subs.

With a loss of about 17,000 DSL subs included, Verizon added just 13,000 net wireline broadband subscribers in the quarter, for a total of 6.93 million. Verizon added 70,000 net wireline broadband subs in the year-ago quarter.

Verizon added 181,000 total consumer broadband customers (wireline and FWA), up from a gain of 81,000 in the year-ago period, for a total of 7.32 million.

Reflecting the general pay-TV trend, Verizon lost another 86,000 Fios video subs, widened from a year-ago loss of 62,000. Verizon ended the period with 3.4 million Fios video subs. The company's pay-TV decline rate of 8.1% is "broadly in line with the rate of decline for the industry overall," MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett explained in a research note.

Fios revenues for Q2 2022 were $2.89 billion, flat from year-ago totals. Ellis chalked that up to Internet growth being offset by video and voice declines.

Ellis also blamed soft Fios results on low churn driven by a slowdown of consumer moves and new home purchases – a lament that's shared by the US cable industry.

Verizon is trying to counter that trend a bit with new Fios network buildouts. Ellis said Verizon extended Fios to another 150,000 homes in the quarter, and remains on track to hit a target of 550,000 incremental Fios homes "open for sale" for full 2022.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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