Tuesday, January 29, 2019

4Q18 Verizon Prepaid Continues Decline

Verizon prepaid has steadily lost subscribers over the many quarters. For 4Q18 the carrier lost 90,000 subscribers, 3K more than last quarter. This performance, on the surface, is disturbing for any student of business. In the 3Q18 earnings call, CFO Ellis stated, "..prepaid is certainly a small part of our business. And we will continue to evolve and adapt the product offering there over time."  The company was to focus the prepaid offerings on value-added segments. The 4Q18 results suggest it's either not working or still a work in process into 2019.

Why it doesn't matter: Verizon's retail subscriber base is now nearly 118 million subscribers of which the prepaid base is about 4.6 million. That's less than 4% of the overall retail subscribers.  Even though the prepaid group had been north of 5 million, the postpaid side is where the money is at.  In contrast, the postpaid subscriber net additions exceeded 1.2 million.  In the end for prepaid competition, Verizon as a brand, while strong force in postpaid is a non-contender in prepaid.