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Verizon LTE activations boom after iPhone 5 intro

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Updated. Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) activated a record 4.5 million 4G LTE devices in the third quarter. Though it was only introduced in the final week of September, 10 days of iPhone 5(s aapl) sales probably had a lot to do with those big boosts in sales.

Update: Hold on. Verizon at its earning call just revealed it it sold 316,000 651,000 iPhone 5 units in the final weeks of the third quarter. So while the iPhone 5 did have an impact on quarterly LTE activations, it’s not responsible for a 1 million-plus boost in sales. Verizon sold 3.1 million iPhones in total in the quarter, most of which were previous generation 3G devices.

While Verizon didn’t report specific iPhone 5 sales numbers, Typically its quarterly iPhone activations match or exceed its total LTE activations. Last quarter Verizon sold 3.2 million LTE devices, and in the quarter before it sold 2.9 million. In those same periods, Verizon sold 3.2 million and 2.7 million iPhones respectively – all counted as 3G devices.

With the marriage of LTE and the iPhone, Verizon is expecting its 4G network to take over the bulk of its data traffic. Verizon now has 14.9 million LTE devices on its network, which is still relatively small compared to its total retail subscriber base of 96 million, but those 14.9 million consume 35 percent of Verizon’s mobile data traffic. With the iPhone 5’s introduction, Verizon expects LTE will soon start hosting a majority of its data traffic.

Correction: A previous version of this post stated Verizon has had sold 316,000 iPhone 5s in the third quarter. The correct number is 651,000.


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