LAS VEGAS -- Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg today unveiled the company's plans for leadership in the emerging broadband industry. He outlined two major new network expansions that are key to bringing the benefits of this new era to homes and businesses across America and said Verizon was committed to investing a total of $3 billion in its networks over the next two years to bring broadband to the mass market.
To illustrate Verizon's unique ability to lead in the broadband revolution, Seidenberg also announced a new service, iobism, and new product, Verizon One, that will help families and businesses create a personal network to manage their communications devices and activities.
The network expansion initiatives involve both Verizon's wireless and wireline networks. Verizon Wireless will expand its third-generation (3G) mobile data BroadbandAccess network nationwide. In addition to its ongoing annual capital investment program to build network capacity and coverage, the company will invest $1 billion over the next two years to further deploy its broadband technology, known as EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized).
Verizon also will dramatically accelerate the evolution of its nationwide wireline network to packet-switching technology and, as announced yesterday, has selected Nortel Networks as its voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) equipment provider.
Both moves are major steps toward creating a new growth-market for communications services in the wireless and broadband era. Seidenberg will outline the company's plans and Verizon's vision for the future in an address scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PST today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"For the last decade, we've been steadily reinventing our networks, products and culture to be ready for the wireless and broadband era," Seidenberg said. "Verizon has invested some $55 billion in infrastructure since 2000 -- more capital than almost anyone in America -- to move toward our vision of an integrated, high-speed multimegabit network that will support applications that will fuel the growth of the entire high-tech industry in the future. The network expansions we're now announcing, along with the new products and services they will deliver, further underscore our commitment to being a broadband technology leader."
Verizon Wireless will begin immediately to expand its BroadbandAccess service nationally. Powered by its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third-generation (3G) wide area network, BroadbandAccess will be phased in nationally over the next two years.
With average user speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second, BroadbandAccess is the fastest commercial wide-area wireless data technology available today and is based on CDMA technology. Proven to be the most versatile and cost-effective wireless technology in the marketplace, BroadbandAccess will be available to business and individual customers beginning in the summer of 2004 throughout significant portions of the Verizon Wireless national footprint, and in additional markets through 2005. Verizon Wireless was the first U.S. wireless carrier to launch commercial wide-area wireless data service in major markets last fall.
Unlike with Wi-Fi, BroadbandAccess users don't have to be within a few hundred feet of a hotspot to have a true wireless high-speed connection. They can connect on the road, at the job site, in a taxi, on the train, or anywhere within the BroadbandAccess coverage area.
Verizon also plans to begin replacing many of its traditional telecom switches with Nortel's VoIP equipment in its local and long-distance voice wireline networks later this year. As deployment gets under way, the company will offer one of the industry's most comprehensive suites of VoIP and multimedia services. The company expects that its next-generation network will be the nation's largest converged network, capable of simultaneously handling voice, data and video transmissions.
Verizon began deploying similar technology in its network in 1999, with VoIP gateway switches for some long-distance companies. In 2002, Verizon began installing similar technology in parts of the company's inter-city network and a year later deployed the technology in segments of the company's long-distance network.
To more immediately deliver additional benefits of broadband-based technology convergence to the marketplace, Verizon plans to launch new products and services in 2004 that give customers simple, seamless ways to integrate all their communications. These will include:
Verizon's iobism: The iobi (eye-OH-bee) service uses the power and intelligence of all the Verizon networks - wireline, wireless, data or IP - to link a customer's various communication devices into one seamless, customized, personal communications network. It lets customers manage phone calls, voice mails, calendars, address books, e-mails and more, using wireline and wireless phones, computers, laptops and PDAs.
By using iobi, businesses and consumers will take total control of their communications. For example, what someone sends as a voice message from a landline or cell phone can be received as an e-mail or text message on a PDA or laptop, or redirected to a different phone line. As a smart network-based system, iobi knows where customers are and how they prefer to communicate at any given time and takes advantage of the information to make communicating easier.
Verizon will begin introducing iobi in 2004, adding new capabilities with each release. The planned capabilities include:
- Real-time call management - customers decide how, where and if they want to receive calls and messages
- Call notifications on PCs and the screens of other devices
- Programmable call-forwarding so calls can follow customers wherever they go
- Interactive call and e-mail logs
- Automated "on demand" or scheduled conference calling
- Electronic contact information-sharing that updates automatically
- Click-to-dial contact of people at the touch of a mouse
- Multi-modal communications -- no matter how a message comes to a customer, the customer can decide how to receive it, including by e-mail, voice mail, text messaging and more
Verizon One: Verizon One combines a DSL modem and wireless router with a touch-screen computer and a contemporary, cordless telephone. Verizon One clears away the clutter of multiple devices, and is configured for iobi service to put the power of Verizon's networks at users' fingertips anywhere in their homes.
Customers can use Verizon One to:
- Call with one click from their address book or online directory assistance
- View information such as weather, movie show times or news
- Scroll through Verizon SuperPages.com to look up and call phone numbers
- View maps and driving instructions
- Use a memo pad to leave notes for the family
- Manage calls as they are received
- Use voice mail more efficiently
- Forward calls in real time, or on a pre-set schedule
- Manage contact lists and calendars
Verizon plans to introduce an initial version of Verizon One later in 2004.
Looking ahead to 2004 and beyond, Seidenberg noted that, as Verizon continues making its networks faster and more powerful and introduces technology-based products and services, the company will play a key role in delivering the benefits of convergence to the marketplace.
"In 2003, we expanded DSL capabilities to 80 percent of our lines, and we continue expanding its availability today," he said. "With our plans for EV-DO, packet technologies and fiber-optic lines, Verizon will commit some $3 billion of capital over the next two years to bring broadband to the mass market. Verizon's next-generation networks will provide a common infrastructure for voice, data and video services. They will link to all kinds of devices - anywhere, anytime. And they will enable a whole new generation of flexible, highly reliable services that can ride on our infrastructure.
"Our goal is to let users tap the intelligence in our network wherever they are and put the power of two-way multimedia communications in people's hands," he said.
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn; materially adverse changes in economic and industry conditions and labor matters, including workforce levels and labor negotiations, and any resulting financial and/or operational impact, in the markets served by us or by companies in which we have substantial investments; material changes in available technology; technology substitution; an adverse change in the ratings afforded our debt securities by nationally accredited ratings organizations; the final results of federal and state regulatory proceedings concerning our provision of retail and wholesale services and judicial review of those results; the effects of competition in our markets; our ability to satisfy regulatory merger conditions; the ability of Verizon Wireless to continue to obtain sufficient spectrum resources; our ability to recover insurance proceeds relating to equipment losses and other adverse financial impacts resulting from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001; and changes in our accounting assumptions that regulatory agencies, including the SEC, may require or that result from changes in the accounting rules or their application, which could result in an impact on earnings.