ROCHESTER, NY — Over 1,400 Rochester-based Verizon Wireless employees will celebrate an important milestone on Monday: the company’s 10th anniversary.
On April 4, 2000, Bell Atlantic Mobile and Vodafone Airtouch merged to form Verizon Wireless, creating a national company with 30,000 employees and 20 million wireless customers (including 4 million paging customers!) and changing the wireless industry landscape locally and nationally.
Here in Rochester, the newly formed company employed a little over 600 people, including 60 in its Rochester Customer Service call center. (The local Bell Atlantic Mobile assets had been spun off from Frontier just four months earlier after operating as Frontier Cellular and, before that, Rochester Tel Mobile.)
Today, the wireless landscape is vastly different:
- Total U.S. wireless customers – 2000: 80 million; 2010: 277 million
- Total Verizon Wireless customers – 2000: 20 million; 2010: 91 million
- Total Rochester-based employees – 2000: 600; 2010: 1,400
- Rochester call center employment – 2000: 60; 2010: 1,200
The way we use wireless devices has changed dramatically, too:
- Wireless service in 2000 overwhelmingly consisted of voice calls and paging, with wireless data speeds only in the dial-up range – today, wireless data is the norm, with 3G data speeds equivalent to broadband service and preparations underway to deploy 4G service
- Text messaging use was near zero – now our customers send and receive billions of text/picture/video messages every day
- In 2000, we’d only recently introduced digital handsets – today, smartphones are rapidly becoming our most popular devices
- No longer a luxury reserved for businesspeople, wireless phones are being used by everyone from students to seniors.
“It’s fascinating to look back over the last ten years and see how much our industry and the way we live our lives have changed,” said Marquett Smith, president of Verizon Wireless’ Upstate New York Region. “We’ve gone from carrying simple handsets with little more than voice mail and caller ID to surfing the Web, checking e-mail, sending picture and video messages, and downloading apps onto these mini-multimedia devices. I think the future of our industry will be as exciting as the last decade has been.”
What will the next ten years bring? That’s impossible to predict. But faster data speeds, more video capability, and even more advanced multimedia devices are just around the corner.
Employees of Verizon Wireless’ Rochester call center will be celebrating the company’s anniversary with decorations, snacks, and other events throughout the day on Monday.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 91 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.