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Verizon Wireless nets 2.1 million new customers, trails AT&T Mobility

Verizon Wireless added 2.1 million customers during the third quarter, just slightly behind numbers posted by rival AT&T Mobility last week.
In organic growth, Verizon added 1.5 million retail net customer additions, essentially all postpaid, the carrier said in a press release. AT&T Mobility, however, enjoyed even larger numbers, gaining 1.7 million customers in postpaid additions – the most customers to join the carrier in one quarter, ever.
Verizon Wireless’ total churn reached 1.33% and postpaid churn was even lower, at 1.03%, meaning Verizon Wireless customers have remained more faithful than those of AT&T Mobility. AT&T reported 1.7% in total churn and 1.2% in postpaid churn.
Verizon Wireless’ total revenues reached $12.7 billion, up 12.5% year-over-year, which the carrier credited to its average monthly revenue per customer (ARPU). The carrier reported a total service ARPU of $52.18. Data revenues were also up, by 42.5%.
Of Verizon Wireless’ 2.1 million new customers, 630,000 of them came from the carrier’s acquisition of Rural Cellular Corp., putting the carrier’s total customer count at 70.8 million. AT&T Mobility currently hosts 74.9 million subscribers.
However, those roles could switch by the fourth quarter, should Verizon Wireless’ $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel Communications L.L.C. go through. The acquisition would add Alltel’s 13 million subscribers to Verizon Wireless’ total. There has been recent speculation, though, that a worsening economy and troubling debt could sway Verizon Wireless’ plans.
Stock of Verizon Communications Inc. – parent of Verizon Wireless – jumped 9.17% to $27.38 per share on the results.

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