Verizon, the number one carrier in the country, actually lost 36,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the third quarter, is now saying that they expect to see positive phone net adds for the fourth quarter. Verizon's executive vice president, John Stratton, was speaking at an investor conference this week and mentioned that his "expectation is that as you typically see seasonal increases from Q3 to Q4, I think we'll see the same here." Typically the fourth quarter is the biggest quarter for carriers, and this is largely due to the fact that it's the holiday shopping season. A lot of people are adding lines to their account, or they are upgrading lines, and in some cases they are switching carriers. Verizon won't be the only one seeing an increase in the number of postpaid phone net adds they post when talking about Q4.
In the past, Verizon has been confident that they did not need to compete in the price war that smaller carriers Sprint and T-Mobile have started. But after posting their first-ever loss in postpaid phone customers in the third quarter, that rhetoric may change. But at this point, Verizon is still adamant that they don't need to offer unlimited data, like Sprint and T-Mobile are doing.
Verizon has also been outspending their competitors in marketing, at least on TV. As they are looking to keep their customers and bring new ones in, amid the heavy competition that's happening in the wireless industry right now. The company did launch some new plans back in July – or rather they upped the data limit and the pricing on their existing plans – which were met with a bit of skepticism by customers and analysts. Verizon will definitely be throwing out some intense promotions for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday shopping season. But they are still the only carrier that is not offering unlimited data. Verizon is also the only carrier that is selling the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones – although T-Mobile's promotion allows you to bring over the Pixel or Pixel XL to them and you get half of that cost back in bill credits over 24 months.