It seems like, everywhere you look, you can see a smartphone or a tablet. With the rise in popularity of these modern communications devices, many telecommunications companies adapted to begin selling the latest technology in communications. Verizon Communications, Inc. is one of these companies. Known for its quirky commercials, the company is one of the leaders of telecommunications today.
The Breaking of the Bells
In 1984, the government-ordered split of the Bell System resulted in the formation of the Bell Atlantic Corporation. The company initially operated in the northeastern part of the United States, covering a number of states. In 1996, Bell Atlantic merged with NYNEX, and the corporate headquarters moved from Philadelphia to New York City.
Then, in 2000, Bell Atlantic merged with GTE in a $64.7 billion merger, and the newly formed company was named Verizon Communications. The new company instantly became the largest local phone company in the United States.
Verizon Wireless was formed by Bell Atlantic and Vodafone in April of 2000, two months before the approval of the merger that created Verizon Communications. Bell Atlantic owned the majority of the company – which was now a mobile phone company with 23 million customers. Verizon Wireless was able to offer great, competitive rates because it was such a large company, so it had an advantage over other mobile carriers.
Verizon Wireless made a series of innovative advancements directly after the company was formed. In 2000, the company released Mobile Web, which was a limited Internet service, and the “New Every Two” program that guaranteed a free phone every 2 years if you signed a contract. Verizon Wireless launched a mobile phone that used the Windows Operating System in 2002 after forming a partnership with MSN.
Also in 2002, Verizon Wireless launched 3G internet service, doubling their phones’ internet speeds. Later in the same year, the company started offering local, long-distance, and mobile calling with Internet in a bundled offer – this bundle was game changing.
Evolving with Demand
Verizon has adapted and evolved in the years since its inception. Technology advances very quickly in this millenium, and tech companies have to be ahead of the game. In 2004, the company launched Fios internet service that transmits data over fiber optic cables, and by 2006, Fios offered 350 channels in 8 different states. Verizon purchased Alltel, another wireless phone company, in 2008, gaining 13 million more customers. In 2010, the company’s 4G LTE service was partially launched with a 3-year continuous expansion plan.
Verizon began selling its wirelines in 2005 after discontinuing landline services to focus on wireless services. In 2012, Hughes Telematics, a company that manufactures wireless features for automobiles, was bought by Verizon to help the company expand its wireless product portfolio. In 2016, the company acquired Fleetmatics, a fleet telematics systems company, and Sensity, an LED sensor company to further expand its portfolio.
AOL and Yahoo Come on Board
In 2015, it was revealed that Verizon was buying AOL, then, the following year, Verizon acquired the entire internet business of Yahoo. The wireless company created a new division called Oath that houses the AOL and Yahoo brands. In 2017, Verizon migrated all of its email services to AOL Mail. Later in the same year, the company’s CEO disclosed its plan to launch a streaming service run by its AOL-Yahoo operations.
Making Marketing Moves
Verizon has grown exponentially in a short amount of time. Because of all the changes and new products that were launched as a result of the changes, the company had to perfect a marketing strategy that kept them visible. The company utilizes geographic and segmentation strategies to provide targeted services to certain areas. It focuses on customization and maintaining an image portrays the company as technologically advanced.
Additionally, all of Verizon’s acquisitions of other companies were strategic marketing moves. The wireless provider partnered with Google in order to expand its market across their mobile platform. As a leader in the industry of networking and communications, Verizon is also able to reply on brand equity as a marketing strategy. Whatever they are doing is working because Verizon was awarded the #19 spot in Fortune’s “Fortune US 500” for 2019.
In the News
Verizon continues to adapt and improve its products and services. Currently, the company is expanding the availability of its 5G Ultra Wideband services. Other recent news about Verizon is its sale of Tumblr to the owner of WordPress and the company’s lawsuit against the City of Rochester claiming that the city limits their network.
The Future is Now
Verizon got a great headstart in this telecommunications business with the incredible merger that created the company, but its ability to transform as technology advances is extremely impressive. Verizon has managed to remain a leader in wireless sales in spite of competition from other wireless companies like AT&T and Sprint. In this wireless-obsessed, smart device-dependant age, this company remains cutting-edge, cementing its place in the wireless world.