Verizon adds 458,000 FiOS subscribers in three months

Driven by its FiOS HDTV and Internet broadband services and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Vodane, Verizon's business boomed big time from July through September, even as the economy began to slow.

With the world economy starting to unravel, Verizon Communications added 233,000 FiOS TV subcribers and 225,000 FiOS Internet subscribers from July to September of this year, while its Verizon Wireless joint venture added 1.5 million new subscribers, according to third-quarter financial results released this week.

Verizon Wireless, a collaborative effort with Vodafone, managed to ink a copious number of new customers despite the addition of another 2 million subscribers by its archrival AT&T, the exclusive wireless service provider in the US for Apple's iPhone.

In another feat, on July 28, with the quarter just under way, Verizon launched its FiOS HDTV services, the company's answer to high-def cable, in New York City. As previously reported in BetaNews, the first customers consisted of more than 100 multiple dwelling units (MDUs) in that city.

But now that the economy is hitting new lows, will Verizon be able to keep thriving during the fourth quarter? Although studies indicate that consumers are cutting their spending, Verizon already has deals under way that could help to see it through a particularly tough quarter.

Verizon's traditional phone line services dropped during the third quarter, for a decrease of 12% from the same time frame in 2007, reflecting an industry trend also marked by this week's acquisition by CenturyTel of Sprint spin-off Embarq.

All told, Verizon's third-quarter earnings rose 31.5% during the third quarter to $1.7 billion, or 59 cents per share, in comparison to $1.3 billion, or 44 cents per share, during the same quarter a year ago.

Just this week, Verizon Wireless launched its 3G network to portions of four counties in the state of Ohio, following a $17 million network investment made in the area earlier this year.

In addition, Verizon Wireless has reportedly said it might launch femtocell products next year, probably in response to rival Sprint-Nextel's rollout of a femtocell home base station late last year.

A femtocell product from Samsung, carrying a Verizon "Ubicell" brand, is reportedly now awaiting FCC approval, according to an account in Unstrung on Monday.

In a deal that isn't yet complete, Verizon announced in June that it plans to further expand its wireless presence by acquiring Alltel. Under terms of the proposed deal, Verizon would purchase the equity of Alltel for $5.9 billion and assume $22.2 billion in debt.

As for FiOS, Verizon has an extensive and complicated pact in place to roll out high-bandwidth TV and Internet services throughout the five boroughs of New York City by 2014.

Since July's launch of FiOS TV in New York, Verizon has since expanded the service to Oregon, Washington, and about ten other states.

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