NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon Communications ( VZ - Get Report) has essentially married itself to the U.S. mobile market by acquiring full control of Verizon Wireless. While the move has been met with skepticism by investors worried about U.S. mobile market saturation, Verizon has expressed confidence that the expensive deal is justified by evidence that consumer and corporate wireless demand in the country remains insatiable. T - Get Report), which also has its hand in the cloud. With total control of the wireless group, Verizon Communications may now have the increased opportunity to bundle its Verizon Terremark offerings from the wireline division with wireless services, potentially adding an important lock-in component that further disincentivizes retail postpaid customers from defecting to a competitor. Even though Verizon's monthly churn rate remains at impressively low levels, the company can't afford to become complacent on working hard to keep every one of its customers loyal given that raising prices in the oligopoly type structure of the U.S. telecom world hasn't really been an option. Retail postpaid customers make up a majority of Verizon Wireless' customer base and include corporate accounts. The firm has not been disclosing any specific revenue numbers for its cloud business, but in some ways the amount may not be as relevant if the business was viewed solely as an anti-churn tool or a loss leader.
Read: Robots and 3D Printing "Cost controls are paramount given the saturation of the market and the high costs of rolling out new technologies like 4G," said Brian Frank, portfolio manager at Frank Capital. "In a commodity-like business, the company with the lowest costs is at a large advantage. It makes sense they would be happy to spend money on cloud as a loss-leader if it helped lower customer churn."
Despite Verizon consistently being able to keep churn rates at very low levels over the last decade, rates have edged up compared to five years ago. The company's churn rate for retail postpaid customers came in at 0.93% and 0.97% for the three months and six months ended June 30. Five years ago during the same period, the figures were at 0.83% and 0.88%, respectively. The latest wireless churn rate data on other telecom companies show T-Mobile USA ( TMUS - Get Report) coming in at 1.6% and 1.8% during those same periods, and AT&T's arriving at 1.02% and 1.03% and almost rivaling Verizon's during those respective time frames. In any case, Verizon still has the chance to prove that it's able to beat its own churn rate lows again in the coming years. MSFT - Get Report) will be pairing its Windows Azure cloud platform with AT&T's virtual private networking technologies to become available to customers by the middle of next year. But customers can only benefit from the commoditization as the telecom giants turn to options such as increasing free storage space and adding more security features to increase the competitiveness of their cloud offerings to help tide these corporations over until their next big breakthrough in building out the next generation of high-speed wireless networks. Follow @atwtse -- Written by Andrea Tse in New York >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.>