AT&T, Verizon Stack Up Subs

Wireless subscriber growth continued during the second quarter for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless , tracking results similar to what they saw in the first quarter.

AT&T reported today that it added over 1.3 million net wireless subscribers in the quarter, helping to maintain its lead as the No. 1 U.S. cellular operator, with 72.9 million users in total. Of these, 894,000 were monthly subscribers as opposed to pay-as-you-goers.

That made wireless a bright spot again for AT&T, with a 15.8 percent gain in revenues to reach $12 billion. Wireless data revenues in particular grew 52 percent to $2.5 billion. (See AT&T Hits 550K IPTV Subs.)

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless added 1.5 million subscribers in the second quarter this year, bringing its total customer base to 68.7 million. (See Verizon Adds 1.5M Subs.)

That subscriber base could exceed 80 million -- surpassing AT&T -- once Verizon buys Alltel Corp. (NYSE: AT), a deal expected to close by the end of the year. (See Vodafone Confirms $28.1B Alltel Takeover.)

The real question will be whether third-ranked player Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) can up its game. Sprint lost more than 1 million customers in the first quarter. The operator is due to report its second quarter on Aug. 6. (See Sprint Bleeds Cellular Customers.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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