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Verizon guy with crowdEven though Verizon performed better than expected in its third quarter, it still lost out to AT&T in contract subscriber gains.

In its third quarter 2010 earnings report today, the company announced that it added 997,000 net customers — a number that includes 584,000 contract (or postpaid) customers. AT&T, in comparison, added a total of 2.6 million new subscribers with 745,000 new contract users. Verizon’s wireless churn rate, or the rate at which users left the carrier, was low at 1.07 percent (AT&T’s was slightly higher at 1.32 percent).

Verizon reported $2.92 billion in net income for the quarter with $26.5 billion in revenue, down 2.9 percent from $27.3 billion in revenue last year. Despite the drop, the company still performed better than the $26.3 billion in revenue that analysts expected.

Verizon Wireless remains the largest carrier in the U.S. with 93.2 million customers at the end of the quarter, compared to AT&T’s 92.8 million users. Wireless service revenue was up 5 percent at $13.5 billion, and data revenue rose 22.8 percent to $4.8 billion.

The company’s fiber technology services continued to grow with 204,000 new FiOS TV customers, and 226,000 FiOS Internet subscribers. It had a total of 3.9 million FiOS Internet customers and 3.3 million FiOS TV users.

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