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Verizon reports 20 pct fall in quarterly profit

April 20 Verizon Communications Inc, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, reported a 20 percent fall in quarterly profit as it lost wireless postpaid subscribers despite the re-launch of unlimited data plans.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $3.45 billion, or $0.84 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $4.31 billion, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.

Verizon said it lost 307,000 retail postpaid subscribers on a net basis in the first quarter. Analysts on average were expecting net additions of 222,000, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Verizon is struggling to fend off smaller rivals T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp in a maturing market for U.S. wireless service.

In February, Verizon announced that it would offer an unlimited data plan for the first time in more than five years, following which other companies sweetened their unlimited offerings.

Total operating revenue fell to $29.81 billion for the fourth straight quarter from $32.17 billion a year earlier. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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