Verizon Wireless

From Academic Kids

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Verizon Wireless logo

Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., owns and operates a national wireless network in the United States. As of April 2005, the company served a total of 45.5 million voice and data customers.

Verizon Wireless was formed in 2000 as a joint venture between US-based Verizon Communications (55%) and UK-based Vodafone Group (45%) 1. Verizon Wireless was formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic Mobile (which was previously called Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile by 1997), AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. This wireless joint venture received regulatory approval in six months, and the wireless joint venture began operations as Verizon Wireless on April 4, 2000. On June 30, 2004, the addition of GTE wireless' assets made Verizon Wireless the nation’s largest wireless communications provider until Cingular's acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

That faux word "Verizon" comes from the first three letters of the Latin term "veritas," which means truth. The second part of the word comes from the word "horizon." Together, they are supposed to conjure images of reliability, certainty, leadership and limitless possibilities.

Verizon is one of two US national carriers to use CDMA. technology, the other being Sprint PCS, with ALLTEL a third, but not quite national, CDMA provider. Verizon Wireless also uses AMPS, CDMA2000 1xRTT and 1x-EvDO technology.

Verizon Wireless invests $4B annually to "maintain and expand" its nationwide CDMA network and support its analog network. Verizon Wireless offers voice service as well as 3G data services such as wireless broadband internet access based on CDMA EV-DO, nationwide text and picture messaging, over the air downloadable applications via its "Get It Now®" service, and VCAST which allows customers to view downloaded video content.



Verizon for a time commercialized the fact that they were the largest cellular network in the country by showing people using cell phones and then gesturing with two fingers, much like the peace sign or bunny ears, to show that the person was on the Verizon network.

Later, Verizon's new slogan became, "We never stop working for you", with the commercial depicting a Verizon employee roaming about in strange places continuously asking, "Can you hear me now?" The “test man” represents the engineers who conduct more than 300,000 call attempts monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national wireless carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles of the most frequently traveled roadways nationwide in specially equipped, company-owned quality test vehicles.

Challenges facing Verizon Wireless's efforts to compete

Although it is too soon to tell whether Verizon will maintain its lead over other providers, their GSM competitors have a number of advantages for consumers. More GSM handsets support Bluetooth and GSM handsets generally have longer battery life than CDMA phones. [Consumer Reports]. Verizon did not adopt push technology for Internet access, choosing instead to offer "Get It Now". This strategy has proven successful in at least one way: Verizon was first to the market with their 3G service. Their marketing, especially their free Verizon to Verizon calling and new as of 2004 "IN" Text Messaging plan represent the fewest number of choices for billing. They have stayed competitive as far as rate plans, formerly being a 'premium' priced carrier.

There is room for companies like Sprint Nextel (Sprint acquired Nextel) and T-Mobile to create niche markets for business travellers with push technology, more Bluetooth phones, and more options for downloading corporate e-mail on an Exchange server, and on regular intervals.

Verizon's "Get It Now" has varying services depending on your phone, and is less consistent than the other vendors' offerings, even for things like mail clients. Verizon's massive marketing muscle may alleviate any technological or practical advantage in configuration or delivery.


Highest Customer Service Quality Rating - RCR Wireless News, January 21, 2004

Best Wireless Product - Wireless Systems Design, February 11, 2004

Carrier of the Year Excellence Award - Wireless Week, March 22, 2004

Best Overall Carrier - Laptop Magazine, May 2004

Best Place to Work in IT - ComputerWorld, June 14, 2004.

100 Best Companies for Working Mothers - Working Mother, October 2004

Reader's Choice - PC Magazine, November 29, 2004

Corporation of the Year - The U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce

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Verizon Wireless owns approximately 98.6% of its customer base at 31 March 2005. As a result the ownership percentages of its parent companies differ slightly from the smaller figures for their proportionate customers.1


1 Vodafone Group Plc. Annual Review & Summary Financial Statement, for the year ending 31 March 2005.


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