While Warren Buffett and many others are predicting a worse-than-expected economic recession, telecom companies must not be listening, as Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) has followed in the footsteps of main rival AT&T (NYSE: T) with an impressive first-quarter earnings report.

Verizon produced results that largely matched what the myriad of analysts following the company expected -- net income rose nearly 10% to $1.6 billion on a 5.5% rise in revenue to $23.8 billion. While this level of growth may not get too many investors excited, it's pretty impressive, considering that the sagging economy threatened to take a significant bite out of Verizon's business. The company noted that business is holding up just fine and that it has "weathered the current economic uncertainty."

Verizon is staying on the growth path by running a tight ship and cutting costs where business is faltering across the whole industry -- mainly in traditional landline services. To make up for these declines, it's investing heavily in fast-growing wireless and broadband segments where it continues to perform well.

Verizon's wireless division (which it operates with partner Vodafone (NYSE: VOD)) didn't just match, but handily beat out AT&T's 1.3 million net new wireless subscriber additions with 1.5 million of its own in the quarter. Verizon also saw a big boost from wireless data services, and wireless data now makes up 23% of wireless service revenues. The company also put to rest concerns about newly launched unlimited wireless plans and their impact.

Many had speculated that a new price war with unlimited use plans would break out and obliterate growth for traditional industry players such as Verizon and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), as well as make life even harder for recent challengers like Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) and Vonage (NYSE: VG). But the company noted that a much higher number of new subscribers are picking up the $99 and up unlimited plans, offsetting the lost revenue from those adopting the new plans to cut their bills.

Verizon's first-quarter results show that, so far at least, the bearish economy has yet to affect the telecom sector. Many agree that the economy will continue to unravel, but wireless and broadband services seem to be one of the last areas consumers and businesses are willing to cut out.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock competes on quality, not price. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy was found nailed to the church door.