Ready for action.

By: Jennifer Marin
Communications Strategist/Writer

How Verizon Frontline is leading the way with THOR's Hammer. Plus, a full news rundown.

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Happy Friday, V Team! On today’s edition of Up To Speed live, host Jennifer Marin shared a full news rundown.

Up To Speed: Week in review

Call before you dig

You may recall that recently, our Major Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT), which is part of the Verizon Response Team, took part in a critical simulation in Cary, N.C. While we were down there the team also broke down the importance of calling the national call-before-you-dig phone number: 811.

Whether it’s a contractor starting a complex project or if you’re simply looking to plant a garden or install a fence – safety should always be your first priority.

We shared a video in which Director of Business Continuity & Emergency Management Mark Paff further elaborated on the important process of calling 811.

Debuting THOR’s Hammer

Earlier this week Verizon Frontline introduced THOR’s (Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response) Hammer, the latest in its line of next-generation public safety communications innovations.

Developed with dual-core network capabilities, the nearly 30-foot trailer is able to act as either a private 5G standalone (or non-standalone) network that can be managed locally from within the trailer. THOR’s Hammer, although a prototype, can help enable game-changing capabilities for public safety agencies as they work to protect our communities during times of crisis and beyond.

THOR’s Hammer was built to operate independently or in tandem with THOR.

Protecting our customers

Text messages are among the most trusted ways to communicate with one another, as well as for organizations to communicate with customers who have opted-in to receive messages.

In 2021 alone, we processed 267 billion text messages and blocked delivery of more than 11 billion spam texts to wireless customers from senders misusing our consumer platform.

We’re working hard behind the scenes to help block the bad while protecting the good and you can help too. If you or someone you know receives a spam text message, report it by simply forwarding the message to 7726 from your mobile phone. And remember folks: never respond to or click on a link in a message that you’re not expecting.

As for robocalls, Verizon is now doing even more to help customers know who’s calling

with new enhancements to Call Filter. When customers receive a call from a phone number not saved in their contacts list, Call Filter will soon label calls with a category such as health care or public service. This new feature will help customers decide whether or not to answer a call.

Click here to learn more about our efforts to stop spam texts and robo calls.

Game-changing capabilities

Now to some exciting Verizon Business Group news, Verizon Business has been selected to manage Astellas Pharma Inc’s global network infrastructure.

Astella’s which is headquartered in Tokyo Japan is a global pharmaceutical company involved in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of innovative new drugs.This network transformation will enable them to harness advanced technologies to help reduce drug development timelines, healthcare costs and drive new revenue opportunities.

Nice job APAC team!

Attention gamers

Verizon is once again proving to be the ultimate network for gamers. As you may have heard, you now can get Xbox All Access, which includes either an Xbox Series X or Series S and 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate so you can take advantage of all the great games.

XBox All Access pairs perfectly with all our Verizon Home Internet options. And with Game Pass Ultimate and Verizon 5G, you can game on the go.

If you watched Monday’s episode of Up To Speed , you’ll remember how NPCs – Non-Player Characters – are often crucial to gaming, and played a part in celebrating our Xbox partnership through a Twitch event featuring gaming star AverageJonas.

We shared a video showing the celebration of the launch of Xbox All Access at one of our retail stores in Santa Monica – and we even got a chance to catch up with our Communications partner Adi Winland who joined in on the celebration.

Filling hearts and tanks

V Team, you may recall that not too long ago, we shared how our local communications team has been surprising people at gas stations across the country with the gift of a full tank of gas.

It’s all thanks to our “Fuel The Love” initiative, which aligns with our #ACallForKindness campaign. Throughout the week, TV stations have been airing stories about our recent gas giveaways. At these events, we’ve also touted our value-driven Welcome Unlimited wireless plan; our Verizon Visa Card that delivers 4 percent rewards on gas; our premium wireless plans that come with streaming services and other perks, on us; and our Home Internet that starts at $25 per month.

This week, viewers of Indianapolis’ Fox TV affiliate saw how we recently filled hearts and gas tanks for dozens of drivers at a local GetGo station. It was also a lucky week for drivers who pulled up to gas stations in Las Vegas and Tampa.

Drivers fear not, our “Fuel The Love” campaign isn’t over yet! We plan on bringing it to at least 15 cities this summer.

Good Mailbox submissions

V Team a reminder to continue to send us your summer vacation photos – specifically the moments in which your vacation felt even sweeter thanks to the coverage you had on our network.

Just a few days ago, a familiar face on this show - our very own Raquel Wilson was at Newark Airport on her way to enjoy her summer vacation and she was able to connect to her airline app for updates all while enjoying her music and netflix shows – all that without having to connect to the airports spotty wifi.

Thanks for sending us that submission Raquel, we hope you have the very best time!

So remember team email your submission to us at

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

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About the author:

Jennifer Marin is a former local news reporter/anchor. She was born in Colombia but raised in Northern New Jersey. She loves to craft new recipes, create videos, and spend time with her pug, Sweetie.

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