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7/19/2007
01:55 PM
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Verizon Wireless Keeps Adding To Its Retail Customer Base

The positive results are likely to spur an attempt -- opposed by Verizon -- to change the company's equity ownership.

Verizon Wireless announced Thursday net customer additions of 1.6 million subscribers, but the positive numbers are likely to spur an attempt to change the company's equity ownership that Verizon opposes.

Verizon Wireless said the second-quarter 2007 numbers mean that it supplies wireless mobile phone service to more customers than any other provider. The strong financial results recorded by Verizon Wireless in recent months have boosted the financials of its parent, Verizon Communications.

Verizon Wireless has a split ownership -- 55% ownership by Verizon Communications and 45% by Vodafone Group -- and an effort by a small Vodafone stockholder to change the ownership makeup is likely to be supported by Verizon Wireless' upbeat numbers.

Efficient Capital Structures has proposed that the Vodafone stake be spun off to take advantage of the unit's favorable sales and profit record. ECS has been supported in the effort by research and proxy firm Glass, Lewis & Co.

In announcing the latest results, Verizon Wireless said the company's focus remained on its retail customers and the latest growth numbers were achieved "through strong gross add performance and continued low retail postpaid churn." The Verizon unit said total net customer additions were 1.3 million after 300,000 net reductions in the company's wholesale base.

Verizon Wireless said more complete financials will be reported July 30 when Verizon Communications announces its consolidated quarterly results.

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