Verizon sells 1.2M LTE devices in Q2, bumps up capex for LTE in first half

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) said it sold 1.2 million LTE devices in the second quarter, and announced that 69 percent of its net retail postpaid additions in the quarter either came from LTE devices or Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.

The operator, which added 2.2 million total net subscribers in the second quarter, said its LTE network is now live in 102 markets, and the company will expand to 175 markets covering 185 million POPs by the end of the year. Verizon added three new LTE devices during the quarter, the Samsung Droid Charge, LG Revolution and the MiFi 4510L LTE Mobile Hotspot by Novatel Wireless.

Verizon also revealed it increased capital expenditure on projects that include its LTE network buildout in the first six months of the year. The company's capex came in at $8.9 billion, compared with $7.6 billion in the first six months of 2010. Still, CFO Fran Shammo said during Verizon's earnings call that he expects spending for the year to be in line with the $16.5 billion it spent in 2010.

Jefferies & Co. analyst George Notter said in a research note that Verizon's capex trend could mean a slow-down in 4G CDMA EV-DO network spending for the company later this year.

"The company commented that network spending on 3G was well ahead of capacity requirements for the year, and 4G LTE spend was slightly ahead of requirements. Management specifically cited a second-half pullback in EVDO spending, due to the acceleration of EVDO build-out during the first half of the year," Notter wrote. "This doesn't surprise us--Verizon's EVDO spending has historically been front-end loaded. In recent years, the company has surprised to the upside with their Q3 and Q4 EVDO spending. While we find it reasonable to think that EVDO spending might see a slight pullback for 2H'11, we think it's relatively unlikely that it would pullback significantly (or stop)."

For more:
- see this FierceWireless article
- see this Light Reading Mobile article

Special Report: Wireless in the second quarter of 2011

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