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Verizon Wireless edges closer to Cingular

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Verizon Wireless did a little strip-tease for Wall Street today, offering a sneak peek at key performance indicators for Q4, ahead of Thursday's results announcement.

The US cellco was hot on the heels of leader Cingular for the three months ended December 31, 2005, recording a net gain of 2m customers for the quarter, compared with the 1.8m nabbed by its rival.

Verizon says its churn rate (or customer-fleeing) is the lowest in the US wireless sector, but we will have to wait for Thursday for the numbers. However, in a customer satisfaction survey of US cellcos published last week, it emerged as the clear winner.

Verizon Wireless ended the quarter with 51.3m customers, compared with Cingular's 54.1m. Verizon was the traditional US cellco leader until the consolidation of the sector in the last couple of years, which saw Cingular leapfrog into the lead with the acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

The sub-text of today's announcement from Verizon is that it will only be a matter of time before it resumes top dog slot again. ®

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