UPDATE 1-Verizon says added over 1.4 mln postpaid customers in Q2

Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:46pm EDT

(Adds quote from CEO, background on subscribers and details)

By Marina Lopes

WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc had a net addition of over 1.4 million postpaid subscribers in the second quarter, its chief executive said on Thursday, a dramatic increase from the first quarter, when customer growth fell short of expectations.

The company also saw record growth in its tablet business and very strong growth in its smartphone business, Lowell McAdam, Verizon's chief executive, said in an interview on CNBC on Thursday, two weeks before the release of its second-quarter earnings.

"The second quarter will be strong for us, which is an indication that the whole industry is very strong," said McAdam.

Verizon's stock was up 1.3 percent at $49.54 in afternoon trading and was the best performer in the Dow Jones.

Verizon, which is expected to announce second-quarter earnings on July 22, posted a 20 percent decline last quarter in net additions of its postpaid customers -- those who subscribe to monthly calling plans -- as it hesitated to offer the aggressive discounts popular with its competitors.

McAdam also said Verizon is open to purchasing Dish Network Corp's spectrum, or airwave licenses.

"Dish has got some great spectrum. Spectrum is the life and blood of the mobile industry." McAdam said. "Anything around spectrum is always of interest for us."

But he emphasized the company is not interested in acquiring Dish, refuting rumors that arose following rival AT&T's $48.5 billion bid for satellite operator DirecTV.

"I haven't seen a scenario that owning a satellite company is of interest to us, not being critical of any other deal out there," he added.

McAdam also commented on a dispute the company had last month with video streaming service Netflix, when Netflix began sending messages to its customers blaming Verizon's broadband service for slow deliveries of its TV shows and movies.

McAdam said Verizon allows users access to all lawful content, but that Netflix should pay for priority access for faster service because video streaming takes up 100 percent more capacity than surfing the web. (Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)