How Many Customers Does Verizon Have? The Most Telling Facts in 2023

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

307 million Americans are online.

The internet has become so widespread and commonplace that 93% of the US population pays for internet access.

At the same time, there are only three major players in the telecommunications industry.

They provide almost every American with his or her monthly allotment of data. They are AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Today, we’ll discuss the latter.

How many customers does Verizon have?

What is its market valuation?

How much does it spend on advertising every year?

If any of this interests you at all, read on, and you’ll get your answer.

Essential Facts About Verizon (Editor’s Choice)

  • Verizon supports 94.5 million wireless connections.
  • 90% of Verizon’s wireless data traffic is on 4G LTE.
  • Verizon paid $130 billion to take over Verizon Wireless.
  • Verizon bought Yahoo! for $4.48 billion.
  • Verizon lost nearly 400,000 customers at the beginning of 2017 before it launched unlimited data plans.
  • This cost Verizon $2.5 billion.
  • Verizon generated $131.6 billion in revenue in 2021.

Some Basic Verizon Wireless Info

Before we really get started, let’s have a quick look at curious trivia concerning Verizon’s origins.

While the company has been around for a while, it only truly became the Verizon we know fairly recently.

1. Verizon came into existence in 2000.

(Source: Verizon)

What was Verizon before it became the telecommunication giant we know today?

Two telecommunication giants. In 2000, Bell Atlantic acquired GTE (General Telephone & Electronics) in one of the most significant mergers ever in American history. Combined, the two companies’ areas of operations included virtually the entire USA. 

Verizon was born.

2. Verizon picked its name from more than 8,500 options.

(Source: Verizon)

Now that you know what Verizon was called before, let us tell you how the company actually chose its new name. When Bell Atlantic and GTE merged, they went through a pool of over 8,500 names before settling upon Verizon.

Why this one? Well, one good reason is that the word itself is a merger. The first part (‘veri’) comes from ‘vertias’, or ‘truth’ in Latin, and the second–is from ‘horizon’. Verizon explains that this etymology hints at present reliability and endless future possibilities.

3. Verizon has acquired 22 companies.

(Source: AcquiredBy)

Verizon is big, there’s no doubt about it, but how big exactly? It has been steadily growing over the past two decades by buying up smaller businesses. 

But what companies does Verizon own today? Well, its most recent acquisition was that of Yahoo! in 2017 for a whopping $4.48 billion. It’s far from the only one, though.

Throughout its 22-year history, Verizon has acquired exactly 22 organizations. Some of the most significant purchases were those of rival telecommunication companies MCI in 2005 for $8.4 billion and Alltel in 2008 for $28.1 billion.

4. Verizon employees logged 529,000 hours as volunteers in 2021.

(Source: Verizon)

What does Verizon do? It provides mobile and network services to its customers, of course. But it also runs an in-company volunteering programme in which all employees are encouraged to participate.

In 2021, they collectively logged 529,000 hours, hitting 115% of Verizon’s annual goal of 500,000 hours. This included thousands of hours spent tutoring small business owners, helping Title 1 students with their STEM studies, assembling hygiene kits for disaster-struck areas, collecting litter to clean up neighborhoods, and much more.

The Demographics of Verizon

Two things to consider here–who works for Verizon and who gets their internet access from the company.

Don’t worry, we made sure to dig up data on both.

The short story is that there are a thousand times more Verizon subscribers than there are employees.

Make of that what you will or just keep reading since the actual numbers will probably make more sense anyway.

5. Verizon has halved its workforce since 2007.

(Source: Statista)

Okay, but how many employees does Verizon have exactly? Once upon a time, the company’s employee count stood at a formidable 235,000. That was 15 years ago, in 2007.

Since then, Verizon has continuously reduced its workforce. In 2021, only 118,400 people worked for the company. 89% of them, or about 105,000, were based in the US. The roughly 13,000 international employees are spread between the 150 countries in which Verizon has a presence.

6. Verizon has 7 million broadband subscribers.

(Source: Statista)

Let’s cut to the chase–how many subscribers does Verizon have? As usual, there’s no straightforward answer since it depends on the services you include in the calculation.

In total, the number stands at over 100 million.

Verizon’s wireline broadband subscribers, however, are merely 7 million. As recently as 2015, there were 9.23 million Americans using Verizon broadband. That said, the decrease is not so much because of waning customer interest in wireline connections, but rather due to Verizon selling a part of its business in California, Florida, and Texas, thus losing nearly 2 million subscribers.

7. Verizon supports 94.5 million wireless connections.

(Source: Verizon)

The number of Verizon wireless subscribers has remained reasonably stable over the last few years, at roughly 94.5 million. Of course, this is to be expected, since the wireless network market has very much reached saturation in the developed world.

For instance, Verizon’s year-on-year growth in wireless connections from 2018 to 2019 was precisely 0%. For comparison, T-Mobile has a similar number of subscribers (~98 million), while AT&T reigns supreme with over 171 million in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

It turns out that not all carriers are equally popular among all demographic groups in the US. Verizon’s customer demographics, for instance, are slightly skewed towards older Americans. 22% of the 50 to 64-year-old cohort uses Verizon as their carrier of choice. In comparison, only 19% of those aged 30-49 and 18% of 18-29-year-olds do.

9. Verizon has a total of 143 million customers.

(Source: Verizon)

This is what you came here for, so let’s do it! How many customers does Verizon have? According to the company’s latest quarterly report, 143 million.

That said, it’s essential to understand precisely what this staggering figure denotes. First of all, it’s the number of connections and not individuals. There is a possibility that one person might have more than one connection. Furthermore, it includes all consumer and business customers, though the latter barely make up 20% of the total.

Verizon’s Net Worth and Other Worthy Stats

Verizon is one of the most successful companies in the world in terms of operating revenue and profitability.

It’s also up there when you look at its market valuation. 

10. Verizon has a market capitalization of $198.6 billion.

(Source: Google Finance)

As of May 3rd, 2022, Verizon has a net worth of $198.6 billion.

While that’s undoubtedly high, the company experienced a sharp drop in market value when it revised its full-year growth expectations, shedding nearly $30 billion in a day. Regardless, it remains the most valuable telecommunications business in the world.

It also still stands well above both of its main competitors in the US, T-Mobile (with a market cap of $158 billion) and AT&T ($138 billion).

11. Verizon paid $130 billion to take over Verizon Wireless.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

One of the more interesting facts about Verizon is that it didn’t actually own the entirety of Verizon Wireless until 2013. Back then, Vodafone Group, the well-known British telecommunications company, held a 45% stake. Verizon decided it wanted to take full control–and paid $130 billion in order to do so.

Considering the first half of the 2010s was a time of rapid growth for the smartphone market, Verizon was right to anticipate dozens of millions of new wireless connection subscribers.

12. Verizon lost nearly 400,000 customers at the beginning of 2017 before it launched unlimited data plans.

(Source: The Washington Post)

Not all Verizon facts we’ll talk about today are positive. Like any other business, Verizon has had its ups and downs. Here’s a down.

In Q4 2016, the company made more than $32.3 billion. In Q1 2017, this number dropped by $2.5 billion to $29.8 billion. The reason? An exodus of nearly 400,000 customers in just six weeks.

Rival carriers like T-Mobile had launched unlimited data plans in a bid to lure in new customers–and, boy, were they successful. Verizon was initially reluctant to follow suit but eventually gave in to the pressure and released its own unlimited plans. This brought back 110,000 customers over the next month, somewhat offsetting the losses from the start of the year.

Fun fact: Despite Verizon advertising its plans as ‘unlimited’, they aren’t limitless. After the first 22GB in any given month, the carrier will throttle your connection, slowing your internet speed down.

13. Verizon made $133.6 billion in 2021.

(Source: Macrotrends)

Being one of the three major carriers in the US, it’s little wonder that Verizon makes tons of money. In 2021, it reached new heights, reporting a revenue of $133.6 billion–a 4.15% increase from 2020. That said, it’s an increase of only 1.44% compared to 2019, when the company reported $131.8 billion.

Verizon’s annual revenue for 2020 was actually lower–$128.3 billion, undoubtedly at least in part due to the pandemic. Keep in mind that this figure represents the entire amount of money the company receives from its customers over the year. It doesn’t account for any costs and expenses.

14. Verizon Wireless made $68.4 billion in 2021.

(Source: Verizon)

Almost half of Verizon’s revenue stream originates from the company’s wireless service. In 2021, the annual revenue of Verizon Wireless stood at $68.4 billion, a substantial increase of 4.7% over the $65.4 billion it made in 2020.

This includes both the consumer and business sectors, although the former is responsible for over 80% of total revenue, or around $56.1 billion. Business customers brought in $12.3 billion.

More recently, Verizon has seen even greater rates of growth, with a reported $17.8 billion in wireless service revenue in 4Q 2020, a 6.5% increase year-on-year. 1Q 2020 saw another significant jump to $18.3 billion.

Verizon’s Marketing Strategy…

…is expensive but appears to work.

That said, the telecommunications giant literally spends more on advertising than Apple.

That’s right, Apple–a company that boasts ten times the market cap and over two times the annual revenue of Verizon. Just let that sink in for a moment.

Then again, we can’t blame Verizon, as the internet market is saturated and almost every potential customer is already in. Verizon can do little to convince new people to use its services.

What it can do is convince existing customers of another carrier that they would get a better deal if they switched over.

And it’d be hard to do that without ads, right?

15. 90% of Verizon’s wireless data traffic is on 4G LTE.

(Source: Verizon)

Verizon Wireless’ advertisement efforts are clearly focused on 5G.

After all, it’s the new cool thing that everything is talking about–even though many phones still don’t support it and Verizon itself only offers 5G service in about 60 major cities in the US.

But the fact is that 90% of the company’s wireless data traffic happens on its 4G LTE network. Of course, compared to the dreadfully slow speeds of the once widespread 3G, 4G LTE offers a perfectly acceptable experience. Best of all, Verizon’s network extends to over 98% of the US population, too, so you’re most likely covered no matter how far away from civilization you live.

16. Verizon spends over $3 billion annually on advertising.

(Source: Statista)

Like any other business, Verizon runs advertising campaigns. Unlike most other businesses, Verizon’s ads cost billions. Over the past decade, the telecom giant has spent anywhere between $2.38 billion (in 2012) to $3.11 billion (in 2020) on advertising every year.

This figure suddenly jumped from $2.68 billion in 2018 to $3.07 billion in 2019, likely due to Verizon’s intensive advertising of 5G technology. At the same time, although $3 billion sounds like a lot of money, it’s not that much in context, as it barely makes up 2% of the company’s revenue.

17. Verizon serves 99% of Fortune 500 companies.

(Source: Verizon)

Verizon is a Fortune 500 company. At the time of writing, it ranks No 20, which means it’s the twentieth-largest US corporation by annual revenue.

Moreover, as a leading telecommunications company, Verizon’s operations are closely intertwined with those of many other businesses. This includes most of the names on the Fortune 500 list–as of 2022, it serves 99% of them.

18. Verizon is the world’s most valuable telecommunications company, with a brand value of $69.6 billion.

(Source: Statista)

We already told you that Verizon has a net worth of nearly $200 billion, making it the most valuable of the Big Three telecom companies in the US. But did you know that it’s also the most valuable in terms of brand value?

Granted, this metric is tougher to calculate than market capitalization since it’s more about brand recognition and related benefits. Those are obviously somewhat subjective parameters, so you’ll find that various rankings exist.

Still, the latest statistics show that Verizon commands a brand value of $69.6 billion, ranking first in the world, compared to AT&T’s $47 billion, which earns it the number three spot. In second place stands the German Deutsche Telekom, which is also the largest telecommunications company in Europe.

19. Verizon FiOS boasts 6.3 million customers.

(Source: Variety)

While Verizon Wireless’ advertising campaigns are clearly achieving good results, the same can hardly be said about Verizon FiOS.

FiOS is an acronym that stands for ‘fiber optic service’ and represents Verizon’s broadband, TV, and landline package. The first one’s doing alright and even gained 102,000 new customers last quarter to reach 6.3 million.

Contrariwise, the company’s TV business is dying rapidly. With the advent of popular streaming services, it lost 82,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022, dipping to a record low of 3.77 million. Verizon itself appears to have given up hope–until last year, the giant used to offer a bundle comprising its three main services (broadband, TV, phone).

Now, it advertises YouTube TV instead of its own FiOS TV. You know what they say–when things go wrong, don’t go with them. Seems like Verizon believes so, too.

Wrap Up

How many customers does Verizon have? Plenty–about a third of the US population.

Coincidentally, that’s roughly the number of Americans who own an Apple smartphone.

It’s also not far off the number of people who watched the most recent Super Bowl game.

None of that is really relevant, but it’s a couple of cool tidbits of trivia to put the astounding Verizon statistics we curated into a broader context.

Jordan T. Prodanoff
Jordan T. Prodanoff

A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.