Verizon grows prepaid but sticking to “bread and butter”
Verizon Wireless brought in almost half of its customers from its wholesale prepaid business in the fourth quarter, seemingly confirming analyst predictions that this market segment is becoming the biggest driver of mobile.
But Verizon is careful to downplay the importance of any services other than its lucrative postpaid services for high-value monthly bill paying customers.
“That’s our bread and butter. Our real focus is the retail postpaid base,” Chief Financial Officer John Killian told Reuters.
“In the quarter we did see good reseller activity from several different resellers,” he said, but noted that this could be a high point for the year.
“I don’t think we’ll have as strong a number as we’ve had in the fourth quarter but we might continue to see some growth. We hope to see some growth from the reseller base because they’re profitable to us and they’re good customers.”
Still, while wholesale “might be a little bit bigger” in the years to come, he said more than 90 percent of its busines will be retail postpaid. “That’s not going to change any time soon.”
He added, “I think our most important customer base will always continue to be the retail pospaid customer base. To the extent we have the ability to grow wholesale more we’ll take advantage of that.”
Killian would give no word of course on whether Verizon customers will get their hands on Apple’s iPhone or its tablet computer, expected to be unveiled Wednesday Jan. 27.