Verizon's LiveSource Directory Assistance Unit Is Tops in Market Performance, Frost & Sullivan Says

NEW YORK - Verizon LiveSource, which handles more than 3 million directory assistance calls each day in support of Verizon landline customers and more than half the wireless customers in the United States, has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2006 Award for Market Leadership in the North American Directory Assistance Market.

Besides leading in market share, Verizon was cited for excellence in strategy development, identifying challenges and meeting the demands of a dynamic market.

Kitty Linder, president of Verizon LiveSource and Public Communications, said, "Frost and Sullivan is recognizing us for what we do every day:  We manage the increasing challenges of an essential but seemingly unglamorous service; we do things in new ways, and we do it all for a great mix of new and existing customers.

"We've managed to actually expand our business by creating a wholesale service that leading wireless companies employ, and we keep those companies happy by coming up with new services that best serve people on the go," she said. "One of the best recent innovations is a service that sends the listing you want to your wireless handset as a text message so you won't have to write it down for future reference."

Verizon LiveSource has implemented an extremely successful self-service function that employs an advanced voice-recognition system to deliver numbers quickly and accurately.  The company also has supported its own and its clients' revenue flows with new features like business category searches (ask for a florist, not a specific one), movie listings, restaurant listings, reverse lookups and driving directions served up as text instructions on handsets.

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, recognized Verizon LiveSource for its industry best practices during the course of Frost & Sullivan's recently concluded research on the North American directory assistance and other operator services market.  Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Piyush Arora noted that the directory assistance business is facing multifaceted challenges. Demand for the service is split among competing mediums: wireline, wireless and Internet; the investments needed to keep the services vital put pressure on revenue margins; new, free DA services that deliver numbers after playing an ad pose a new kind of competitive challenge; maintaining an accurate database of numbers is costly; finding a way to engage the expanding voice-over-IP market; and drawing customers back from Internet and CD-based services.

In the area of developing partnerships, innovation and trialing new services with emerging DA businesses, Frost & Sullivan also noted that LiveSource successfully completed the testing of an enhanced directory assistance model with Call Genie Inc., in Pittsburgh.  Also mentioned was Verizon's careful management of price engineering to keep customers calling for numbers while standardizing the price.

"Verizon is committed to using our skills and our experience to make it in this challenged field of telecommunications," Linder said. "We've used our heads, played our cards well and made some great business decisions.  It's great this work was noticed."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.