Entries in Verizon (16)


Verizon Strike: A Sign of the Times as Americans Go Wireless

Stephen Yang/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Verizon strike -- 45,000 union workers pitted against one of the giants of telecommunications -- showed no outward signs of ending today, and analysts said it may be a sign of the times, part of a seismic shift in the way people now link electronically with the rest of the world.

The strikers, members of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, say they are trying to protect their pensions and health care benefits, which Verizon wants to cut.  As the strike continues, Verizon customers from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. who need their landlines fixed, will have to wait for fill-in workers to come to their rescue.

But the simple fact is there are fewer and fewer landline customers.  The industry says 27 percent of Americans no longer have landline phones -- a number that has jumped in the past few years.  They've moved solely to cellular service; the wireless business is booming for Verizon and other market giants.

"The wireline business is slowly but surely dying," said Roger Entner, the founder of Recon Analytics in Dedham, Massachussetts.  "Wireline is losing money."

"Verizon is trying to lose as little as possible," he said.  "On the other side, what the unions are trying to do is defend what they have."

Verizon Wireless is not part of the strike; it is a separate company, 45 percent owned by Vodafone Group.  Significantly, it is a nonunion operation.

"Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to try to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle-class workers and their families," said the two striking unions in a statement.

"We've put important issues on the table, and we're willing to negotiate," said Verizon spokesman Richard Young.  "However, the unions were unwilling to negotiate on anything that's critical."

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam sent a letter to company management that was made public, in which he said that corporate profitability had been declining for a decade, along with the number of landline customers.

"We're asking our union-represented employees to help us on a variety of issues that could streamline our processes and further reduce our wireline cost structure while keeping their overall compensation and benefits among the best in corporate America," McAdam said in the letter. "It is clear that some of the existing contract provisions, negotiated initially when Verizon was under far less competitive pressure, are not in line with the economic realities of business today."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Verizon: Biggest Users of Mobile Data Will Pay More

Verizon Wireless(NEW YORK) -- Say goodbye to "all you can eat" pricing plans that let mobile device users send and receive unlimited amounts of data for one flat monthly fee.

Verizon, among the last providers to offer such a plan, will start charging by use later this month. Use a lot of data, and you'll pay more; use a little, and you'll pay less.

The company says in a statement that its new, usage-based pricing will allow customers, regardless of the kind of device they have, to select a level of payment suited to their data use.  The company says the new pricing will create more options for users of smartphones, and will provide "updated options" for users of regular phones, tablets, and notebooks.

Verizon spokesperson Debi Lewis says the philosophy behind the change is simple: "You pay for what you use."

When asked when the change will occur, she replied, "Shortly, in July."  July 7 has been widely reported as the date.

Craig Moffett, a telecommunications analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein research, thinks consumption-based pricing is fundamentally fairer for the consumer.  Heavy users, he says -- people watching videos, playing online games or holding video conferences -- send and receive data that is "orders of magnitude" greater than data sent by people who limit themselves, say, to sending email.

Without consumption-based pricing, light users wind up subsidizing heavy users.

The industry's move away from flat-fee pricing started, says Moffett, with AT&T's struggle to deliver better service to users of the iPhone, which "by its very nature, its sheer usability, drove enormous data usage."  AT&T was forced, he says, to do everything it could to increase capacity, including adopting a pricing plan that would "reign in the heaviest users."

Is the switch good news for consumers?

"It depends," says Moffett.  "If you're in the small minority of superheavy users -- and that's a very vocal community: the bloggers of the world -- it's bad news.  It means the days of you getting a free ride are just about over, and that you'll be paying more.  But for smaller users -- the average consumer -- it's not bad at all.  Some will save."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Apple Bumps Google as Most Valuable Global Brand

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thanks to the iPhone and iPad, Apple bumped Google in this year's list of Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, the first time that Apple has held first place.

Google has been the number-one brand for the last four years in a row.

"I would say the big story to me is the tale of the tablet.  If you see just how much Apple's brand value has gone up, the iPad is large part of that," said Eileen Campbell, CEO of Millward Brown, the global research agency that published the list.

Last month, Apple announced a 95 percent increase in profit, with second quarter earnings of $5.99 billion.  The company announced it sold 18.65 million iPhones that quarter, up 113 percent from the period one year ago.  Sales of the iPad were lower than expected, however, at 4.69 million units during the quarter.

Campbell said AT&T's significant jump, to number seven from number 22 last year, was also expedited by its relationship with Apple.

Whether or not Verizon's partnership with Apple will affect that carrier's standing is yet to be seen.  The current list was compiled for the 2010 fiscal year.  Verizon, which jumped to number 13 from number 20, first announced in February that it would carry Apple's iPhone.

On another note, Facebook appeared for the first time in the Top 100 list, at number 35.  The social network company had the highest percentage brand growth this year of all the companies surveyed.

Campbell said what contributed to Facebook's boost was Goldman Sach's $50 billion valuation of Facebook, which is privately held, in January.

This is the sixth annual list compiled by Millward Brown, which compiles the list from a database of more than two million consumer interviews in 30 countries, along with publicly available financial data.

Here are the 2011 Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands, according to Millward Brown:

1. Apple
2. Google
3. IBM
4. McDonald's
5. Microsoft
6. Coca-Cola Company
7. AT&T
8. Marlboro
9. China Mobile
10. GE 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Verizon Posts Record Sales for iPhone 4 Pre-Orders

Photo Courtesy - Verizon Wireless(BASKING RIDGE, N.J.) -- Verizon Wireless announced Friday its pre-order sales of the iPhone 4 marked the "most successful first day sales in the history of the company."

Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer for Verizon Wireless, said, "In just our first two hours, we had already sold more phones than any first day launch in our history.  And, when you consider these initial orders were placed between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., it is an incredible success story.  It is gratifying to know that our customers responded so enthusiastically to this exclusive offer -- designed to reward them for their loyalty."

The iPhone 4 was made available for pre-orders on Thursday starting at 3 a.m.  The company set aside a limited amount of the phones exclusively for its existing customers.  Verizon said that by 8:10 p.m. on Thursday, online orders were ceased.

The general public will be able to purchase the iPhone 4 from Verizon on Feb. 10.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Verizon to Offer iPhone Unlimited Data Plan for Limited Time

Photo Courtesy - Verizon Wireless(NEW YORK) -- Verizon announced it will offer its $30 a month unlimited data plan for the iPhone, for a limited time only.

The cell phone carrier says it will eventually move to a usage-based billing model.

AT&T, the former exclusive carrier of the iPhone, discontinued its unlimited data plan last summer.

On Jan. 11, Verizon announced it will begin selling Apple's iPhone 4 on Feb. 10, breaking the exclusive hold AT&T has had on the device since its June 2007 launch.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Verizon iPhone: What Do We Actually Know?

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Pierce Promotions(NEW YORK) -- The mythical Verizon iPhone. Though no official will confirm that it exists, it's still one of the most buzzed-about topics in the blogosphere.

In late September, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg downplayed the possibility of an iPhone joining his network anytime soon, suggesting the company would wait for an iPhone that could run on its new fourth-generation network. But in recent weeks, the reports of a near-term fantasy phone have returned to center stage.

Citing anonymous sources, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported in early October that Apple would release a Verizon-compatible version of the iPhone in early 2011. About a week later, the tech companies added more fuel to the fire when they announced that Verizon would start selling Apple's iPad. Since then, the rumors have continued to roll out.

Verizon declined to comment for this story and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, so what can we actually believe to be true?

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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