Verizon signals capex dip as it reports 2022

Ray Le Maistre
By Ray Le Maistre

Jan 24, 2023

  • Verizon has reported its Q4 and full-year 2022 financial results
  • Full-year revenues were up by 2.4% to $136.8bn
  • Having invested heavily in 5G, the operator is now reducing its capex budget
  • FWA broadband proved a big hit, with Verizon adding more than 1.3 million connections last year

Giant US operator Verizon has reported a 2.4% year-on-year increase in annual revenues for 2022 to $136.8bn, including an 8.6% increase in wireless service revenues to $74.4bn but, as expected, the telco, following several years of significant investments in its 5G infrastructure, has signalled a cut in its capex budget for 2023. 

According to its financial report, released early today, Verizon invested $23.1bn in its networks in 2022, including $6.2bn on building out the mobile broadband infrastructure needed to offer 5G services over the C-band spectrum (between 3.7 GHz and 3.98 GHz); having splashed out $45.5bn in early 2021 to acquire its C-band licences – see Verizon tops C-band spectrum spending with $45.5bn

 But the operator, as expected, is tightening its purse strings in 2023, stating that it expects its full-year capex to be in the range of $18.25bn to $19.25bn, including $1.75bn on the final tranche of its C-band investments. 

And that downwards trend is set to continue: Verizon’s CEO, Hans Vestberg, told a Citigroup conference earlier this month that its capex would dip to about $17bn in 2024, by which point, according to the CEO, the operator will have the “lowest capital intensity” in the global telco sector. Vestberg now wants Verizon to focus on sales growth and cash generation by pushing services, such as 5G-enabled fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband services. 

And those services are proving increasingly popular with the US population, it seems. Verizon said it added 379,000 FWA customers during the fourth quarter of 2022, taking the total added during the year to just over 1.3 million. 

Verizon ended 2022 with 1.45 million FWA broadband customers in total, of which 884,000 were consumer users and 568,000 were enterprise users. 

Verizon ended 2022 with 143.2 million mobile users, of which 114.5 million were consumer customers and 28.7 million enterprise users, and 8.9 million broadband customers (including the FWA users), of which 7.9 million were consumer customers and just over 1 million were from the enterprise sector. 

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV


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