Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the US, released its year-end financial report for 2013 this morning, capping off another year of growth for the carrier. In 2013, Verizon strengthened its position as the top carrier in the US, expanded its LTE network to cover over 99 percent of its 3G footprint, and negotiated a massive buyback of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in the company.
In the year-ago quarter, Verizon Communications reported a significant loss attributed to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and rising costs in employee pensions, but this time around the company earned $7.9 billion on $31 billion in revenue. The wireless division of the company accounted for $21.1 billion in revenue. It also added another 1.7 million new customers to its total subscriber count, which is now 102.8 million. Verizon reports that it activated 8.8 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and smartphones accounted for 88.9 percent of activations, an increase of 3.5 percent over the third quarter.
Verizon says that its LTE network now covers almost 305 million people, or 97 percent of the US population, and is available in over 500 markets. Sixty-nine percent of the carrier's data traffic now flows over its LTE network, and Verizon said it activated 9 million new LTE devices, including smartphones, tablets, and data devices, in the quarter.
The wireless industry in the US went through a number of changes in 2013, mostly spurred on by the activities of T-Mobile. While Verizon did make some changes to its plan offerings, including launching new lower cost service plans and a rapid upgrade plan, its subscriber growth shows that it hasn't taken the same kind of hit that Sprint and AT&T have seen due to T-Mobile's aggressive plans. Verizon is also the only one of the top four carriers to not offer a discount to customers that are no longer on contract.
The company will be holding a call later this morning to discuss the earnings report in detail, and we will report on any news that comes from it.