Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, owns and operates the second largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States, based on a total of 68.7 million U.S. subscribers, behind AT&T Mobility's 72.9 million subscribers. Verizon Wireless has the highest revenue of all wireless companies based within the United States, with an annual revenue of $43.9 billion. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, the company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, with 55 and 45 percent ownership respectively. They claim their wireless network covers geographic regions that contain a population of 260 million people within the United States.
On June 5, 2008, Verizon Wireless announced it will acquire rural provider Alltel Wireless in a deal valued at $28.1 Billion. With this merger, Verizon Wireless states that it will have approximately 80 million wireless subscribers and will cover a geographical region that contains approximately 290 million people.
Verizon Wireless traces its roots to Bell Atlantic
Mobile Communications, AirTouch Communications
, PrimeCo Communications
, and GTE
Mobilnet. Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile Communications merged in 1995 to create Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile
, and in 1997 their namesake Baby Bell
parents followed suit to form the new Bell Atlantic and their wireless subsidiary was renamed Bell Atlantic Mobile. Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile Communications was created from Advanced Mobile Phone Service, Inc.
, which was a subsidiary of AT&T created in 1978 to provide cellular service nationwide. AMPS, Inc. was divided among the RBOCs
as part of the Bell System Divestiture
Meanwhile, in June 1999, AirTouch Communications of San Francisco, California merged with UK-based Vodafone Group Plc, forming Vodafone AirTouch Plc. In September 1999, Vodafone AirTouch announced a $90-billion joint venture with Bell Atlantic Corp. to be called Verizon Wireless, and which would be comprised of the two companies' U.S. wireless assets: Bell Atlantic Mobile and AirTouch Paging. This wireless joint venture received regulatory approval in six months, and began operations as Verizon Wireless on April 4, 2000. On June 30, 2000, the addition of GTE Wireless' assets, in connection with the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE to form Verizon Communications, made Verizon Wireless the nation's largest wireless communications provider (until Cingular's acquisition of AT&T Wireless in 2004). For the joint venture, Verizon Communications owns 55% and UK-based Vodafone Group (formerly Vodafone AirTouch) owns 45%.
The name "Verizon," a portmanteau, is derived by combining the word "veritas," a Latin term that means "truth," and the word "horizon." Together, they are supposed to conjure images of reliability, certainty, leadership, and limitless possibilities.
On February 19, 2008, Verizon Wireless became the first of the "big" cellular companies to offer unlimited minutes talk plans.
Verizon Wireless is one of the six major U.S. carriers to use CDMA
technology, the others being Sprint Nextel's Sprint PCS
, U.S. Cellular
, and MetroPCS
(see List of United States mobile phone companies
for more information). Verizon supports the 3 generations of CDMA (IS-95
, and EV-DO
Verizon Wireless invests a claimed $8 billion annually to maintain and expand its nationwide CDMA network. Verizon Wireless offers voice services as well as 3G data services such as wireless broadband based on EV-DO Rev A, text and picture messaging, over-the-air downloadable applications and content from its "Get It Now" service, Video on Demand in the form of V CAST (which allows customers to download and view video content), location-based services, and Push-to-Talk.
On June 30, 2007, Verizon Wireless had completed the overhaul of the entire EV-DO network to EV-DO Rev. A. This enables PC Cards to obtain downloading speeds of 600 kbit/s to 1.4 Mbit/s and uploading speeds of 500-800 kbit/s.
On 27 November, 2007, Verizon Wireless announced plans to allow all cell phones compatible with their CDMA technology to run on their network. Users of such phones are also allowed to use any application they wish. The plan should take effect by the end of 2008.
However, on September 20, 2007, Verizon Wireless had announced a joint effort with the Vodafone Group to transition their networks to the 4G standard LTE and on November 29, 2007, Verizon Wireless announced that they would start LTE trials in 2008. Adopting LTE would make for a gradual shift away from Verizon Wireless’ current use of CDMA technology because it is a completely different platform, but would offer increased operability for users traveling worldwide.
Phones and devices
Below is a list of all available phones and devices available for sale with the Verizon Wireless service.
- Verizon Wireless CDM 8905
- Verizon Wireless Coupe
- Verizon Wireless G'zOne Boulder in Black & Silver (with and without camera) and Orange
- Verizon Wireless G'zOne Type-S in Black & Silver and Burgundy & Gold
- Verizon Wireless PN-820 Smartphone
- Verizon Wireless SMT5800
- Verizon Wireless XV6900
- Verizon Wireless XV6800
- Verizon Wireless XV6700
- Verizon Wireless G'zOne Type-S Push to Talk
- Verizon Wireless UM150 USB Modem
- Verizon Wireless UM175 USB Modem
- Verizon Wireless PC5750 PC Card
- Verizon Wireless KPC680 ExpressCard
- Verizon Wireless AirCard 595
- Verizon Wireless V740 ExpressCard
- Verizon Wireless USB727 Modem
- Verizon Wireless Blitz
- Nokia 6205 The Dark Knight Edition
- Nokia 6205
- Palm Centro Smartphone
- Palm Treo 700wx Smartphone
- BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Smartphone, original and Pink
- BlackBerry 8703e
- BlackBerry Curve 8330 Smartphone, original and Pink
- BlackBerry 8830 World Edition Smartphone, original and Red
- BlackBerry 9530 "Storm", available November 2008
Upcoming and planned phones
- Nokia 7205
- Nokia 2605
- BlackBerry Niagara
- BlackBerry Thunder (first touchscreen phone from Research in Motion)
- Motorola Rapture VU30
- Motorola Blaze
- Motorola Krave ZN4
- Palm Treo 800W
- Samsung Omnia CDMA
- Samsung U430
- Samsung U440
- Samsung U310
- Samsung SCH-I770
- Motorola Q9 World GSM Edition "Napoleon"
- LG VX9600
- HTC Raphael
- HTC Diamond
These mentioned phones have not been officially announced by Verizon Wireless or their respective companies, however they are expected to be released in the future.
In 2000, Verizon Wireless advertised the fact that they were, for a time, the largest cellular network
in the country by showing people using cell phones and then gesturing with two fingers, much like the World War II-era "V for Victory
" sign, to show that the person was on the Verizon ("V" or "iN") network. The slogan for Verizon Wireless at that time was "Join in." (Reminiscent of the slogan "Join in" was used in their marketing scheme up to this day. i.e., "iN-calling," "iN-messaging," and even the toll-free number "1-800-2-JOIN-IN.")
Later, Verizon adopted the slogan "We never stop working for you," with commercials depicting a Verizon employee roaming about in strange places continuously asking, "Can you hear me now? Good." (The "employee" is played by stage actor Paul Marcarelli) The "test man" represents Verizon test technicians.
In 2005, Verizon Wireless added an "army" of network engineers into their commercials in conjunction with the "test man" and introduced the slogan "It's the Network." to emphasize their network quality. (Verizon Wireless still uses the slogan "We never stop working for you." from time to time — especially on their website, toll-free number, and shopping bags.)
In 2008, Verizon Wireless sponsored Korean pop sensation Se7en further helping Se7en trademark his name in America and promote his U.S. debut album that is being released in summer 2008.
Also in 2008, Verizon Wireless began a new television advertising campaign, with parodies of horror movies (including The Shining), with people trying to scare a main character with tales of a Dead Zone where calls cannot be made, who calmly responds that he or she has Verizon, and then the slogan appears, "Don't be afraid of Dead Zones."
- Best Wireless Product - Wireless Systems Design, February 11, 2004
- Highest Customer Service Quality Rating - RCR Wireless News, January 21, 2004
- Carrier of the Year - Wireless Week, March 22, 2004
- Best Place to Work in IT - ComputerWorld, June 14, 2004
- Best Overall Carrier - Laptop Magazine, May 2004
- 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers - Working Mother, October 2004
- Reader's Choice - PC Magazine, November 29, 2004
- Gold Well Workplace - The Wellness Councils of America, September 2005
- Top 125 Training Organizations in America - Training Magazine
- 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers - Working Mother Magazine
- Best Wireless Service Provider In The World - Business Traveler, December 4, 2006
- 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers - Working Mother Magazine, September 2006
- Most Reliable and Responsive Web Site - The Keynote Service Level Rankings Study, September 14, 2006
- Highest Ranked Wireless Customer Service Performance (in a Tie) - J.D. Power and Associates, July 26, 2006
- Top Honors For Online Customer Experience - The Customer Respect Group, July 21, 2006
- Highest In Customer Satisfaction With Business Wireless Service - J.D. Power and Associates, May 17, 2006
- Leading In Customer Satisfaction - ACSI, May 16, 2006
- Highest Overall Satisfaction Among Wireless Telephone Users In Mid-Atlantic, West, Northeast, Southeast and North Central Region (all in a Tie) - J.D. Power and Associates, April 19, 2006
- 1st In Diversity - DiversityInc, April 18, 2006
- Highest Call Quality Performance Among Wireless Cell Phone Users In Northeast Region in a Tie, Mid-Atlantic Region and Southeast Region - J.D. Power and Associates, March 16, 2006
- Carrier Of The Year - Wireless Week, April 1, 2007
- Tops In Customer Satisfaction - Vocal Laboratories, October 23, 2007
- 25 Companies That Are Good for the World and Your Wallet - CareerBuilder.com, September 24, 2007
- 100 Best Company for Working Mothers - Working Mother, September 2007
- Health & Wellness Trailblazer - Alliance for Workplace Excellence, June 26, 2007
- Best Place To Work In IT - Computerworld, June 19, 2007
- Leading In Customer Satisfaction - ACSI, May 15, 2007
- Top 125 Training Organizations in America - Training Magazine, March 2, 2007
- Top Corporation For Diversity - DiversityBusiness.com, January 22, 2007
- Top 125 Training Organizations in America - Training Magazine, February 2008
- Top Green-IT Companies for 2008 - Computerworld, February 15, 2008
- Carrier Of The Year - Wireless Week, April 2008
Content delivery systems
Get It Now, Media Center
Get It Now is Verizon Wireless's implementation of Qualcomm
technology, allowing a user to download and use applications on a Verizon Wireless Get It Now-enabled phone. It is a proprietary interface to download ringtones
, music, games, applications, and use instant messaging
on a phone. Users usually are unable to load content on the Verizon Wireless phones outside of Get It Now system; this is done for financial reasons. Verizon Wireless has exclusivity agreements with its Get It Now content providers (this is a walled garden
system). Sometimes cell phone enthusiasts do unauthorized modifications to their phones or use unauthorized software to make the phone accept non- Get It Now -originated content. In 2008 Verizon Wireless announced that their "Get It Now" service will be renamed "Media Center" on all their future phones beginning with the LG EnV2.
- Music & Tones
- V CAST Music
- V CAST Music with Rhapsody
- Get New Ringtones
- Puzzle Games
- Sports Games
- Classic Games
- TV/Movie/Music Games
- Action Games
- Casino Games
- Strategy Games
- Tools on the go
- News & Weather
- Travel & Guides
- Mind, Body & Soul
Pricing and availability
Most games available on Get It Now/Media Center are available in two purchase options: "subscribe," which charges a monthly amount to an account, and "unlimited" which is slightly more expensive and has one-time charge. Subscription fees range from $2.99 to $4.99 per month. Purchase fees range from $4.99 to $11.99. Some applications do not allow unlimited-use purchases. Any application or game that requires a data connection will use one's monthly minutes under most "Americas Choice" plans. Subscribers with newer "National" plans will be billed $1.99 per megabyte. Data charges may also apply to the download of the game or application and some plans offered may vary by phone model.
"V CAST" and "V CAST Mobile TV" can be added to a access plan for $15 to $25 per month, per mobile number. Both add-on features include unlimited data minutes, on "America's Choice" plans, or unlimited data transfer (MB pricing), on "Nationwide" plans, to access Get It Now/Media Center, Mobile Web, V CAST and V CAST Mobile TV. However, any purchases while on V CAST, Mobile Web or Get It Now will still be charged.
All applications through Get It Now/Media Center are BREW-based and the selection differs depending on what Verizon phone one is using.
Within Get It Now, Verizon has implemented a GPS navigation application, VZ Navigator, that works for the most part like a standalone GPS unit. Users can also locate businesses within their vicinity, searching by category or business name. Users can type in addresses and receive turn by turn directions to their destination. The cost is $2.99 per day, $9.99 per month or free depending on which plan one is under. VZNavigator is airtime and data transfer charge free to use, meaning it will not be billed data minutes, on "America's Choice" plans, or data transfer charges (MB billing), on "Nationwide" plans, during use. However, the initial download of VZNavigator, if not pre-loaded on the phone, will be assessed airtime (data minutes) or data transfer charges, depending on plan.
Also within Get It Now/Media Center is V CAST, Verizon Wireless' high-speed audio, video on demand
, and entertainment delivery system. The service is currently $15.00 per month, per phone, also includes unlimited data transfer on the "Nationwide" plans for browsing the mobile web and downloading Get It Now applications.
Verizon Wireless collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries, and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. Phones that can be refurbished are sold for reuse and those without value are disposed of in an environmentally sound way by way of ReCellular Inc.
Proceeds from HopeLine are used to provide wireless phones and cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.
Since HopeLine's national phone recycling and re-use program was launched in 2001, Verizon Wireless:
- Has collected more than 4.5 million phones
- Awarded nearly $5 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies and organizations throughout the country
- Distributed more than 60,000 phones with more than 160 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by victims of domestic violence
- Properly disposed of more than 1 million no-longer-used wireless phones in an environmentally sound way
- Kept more than 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills
Hopeline's #HOPE is a service available across Verizon Wireless' nationwide wireless network. By dialing #4673 then pressing send, callers will be connected directly to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, where they can receive the confidential help they need through empowerment-based crisis intervention, information and resources. The call is toll and airtime free.
Verizon Wireless with OnStar
Verizon Wireless currently offers the "Nationwide Plan with OnStar
," which is a bundle plan between Verizon Wireless service and OnStar service. With this plan, the Verizon Wireless phone is the "primary line" and the OnStar device is the "secondary line." This plan is very similar to the "Basic Family SharePlan," with rates starting at $69.99 USD for 700 minutes for the first two phones.
From Verizon Wireless to Claro in Puerto Rico
Main article: Claro Puerto Rico
The Claro brand was launched in Puerto Rico on 18 May 2007 as rebranding the Verizon Wireless trademark, after Verizon International sold its stake in Puerto Rico Telephone Co. (PRTC). Claro is the wireless arm of PRTC, which serves wireline telephone and data services in the island. The brand was introduced to the wireless segment after the 30 March 2007 acquisition of the telecom by América Móvil.
Claro Puerto Rico is currently the second largest serving the island after AT&T Mobility (previously Cingular), serving more than 567,060 customers (partly due to the fact that Puerto Rico Telephone was the first wireless provider on the Island, starting in the 1980s). The history goes back to Celulares Telefónica, which operated until 2001 under that brand, when the Verizon brand was introduced.
The company has made public its plans to launch a GSM/UMTS network parallel to the CDMA/EvDO network it operates since 2002. Claro has mobile voice and data services in Puerto Rico's 78 cities and towns and its coverage is constantly expanding, the company says.
Claro Puerto Rico Slogans (Note: With the latter slogans, there is an obvious pun intended, as "claro" is Spanish for "clear.")
- "Bienvenido a un mundo mejor." | "Welcome to a better world" - in English
- "La red más poderosa habla Claro." | "The most powerful network speaks Claro" - in English
- "Verizon Wireless la red más poderosa, ahora es Claro." | "Verizon Wireless the most powerful network, is now Claro." - in English
Verizon Wireless USA still offers voice coverage in Puerto Rico roaming in the Claro CDMA/EvDO network, however does not offer EvDO data roaming coverage, meaning that no picture or video messages can be downloaded in the Puerto Rico area. There are also reports of phones crashing, and entering a power cycle in the Puerto Rico area due to this lack of EvDO coverage. The Samsung gleam has been reported to be one of these phones that crashes and goes into the power cycle, when trying to register its applications upon startup.
GPS disabling of certain devices
Verizon deactivates the built-in GPS capabilities of many current phones and PDAs. For example, its recently introduced Blackberry 8830 and 8130 both have full GPS capabilities and the Blackberry Maps application which uses the GPS capability for tracking and navigation. Verizon has disabled the GPS to all other mapping applications other than its own VZ Navigator, which is billed at $2.99 a day or $9.99 a month. On November 30, 2007 Verizon Wireless was named in a class action lawsuit alleging that the wireless giant wrongfully and unfairly deceived purchasers of BlackBerry model 8830 smartphones by advertising that the devices were "GPS Enabled." Upon purchase, the suit alleges that Verizon intentionally disabled the devices' free, built-in global positioning systems (GPS) then offered a proprietary Verizon fee-for-service GPS.
In mid-2006, the consumer research firm Telephia published a report that suggests AT&T Mobility
drops the fewest calls across the country. Verizon Wireless advertises heavily the quality of their network above competitors. According to the Consumer Beat reporter for The Boston Globe:
Telephia independently measures the top four wireless carriers for a number of consumer value points. In relation to call quality, Telephia, in a letter to the four major carriers regarding this research, will not confirm or deny that Cingular drops the fewest calls. Also, Telephia has requested that Cingular update its advertising to indicate that Telephia provided the information it uses to make this claim, not that it actually supports or confirms the 'fewest dropped calls' claim.
Motorola V710 Bluetooth
Verizon advertised the Motorola V710
as having full Bluetooth
capability, when in reality it had no OBEX
functions built in. After many complaints, a class action suit
was filed for false advertising, not only for advertising missing capabilities, but also for telling customers who complained to Verizon that an update was coming out "in November." The lawsuit was initiated in January of 2005 and settlement decision became final on March 20 2006
, with Verizon offering to qualified members of the class action suit (purchased a V710 BEFORE February 2 2005
) a $25 credit to all of its V710 customers, or the option to trade in the V710 for $200 or original purchase price and allow them to keep their phone number and service, or $200 or original purchase price and allow them to break their contract and discontinue service with Verizon. The settlement to the lawsuit did not directly address the V710's restrictions. The same hardware crippling exists with Motorola
's successor to the V710
, the E815, but unlike the V710
, the E815 was marked clearly that OBEX and OPP was disabled. Additionally, through a seem edit, OBEX could be enabled on the 815, but not on the 710 (the Verizon e815 lacks the OPP profile altogether). Other carriers' versions of the V710, while still possessing some restrictions to the Bluetooth functionality, are much less restrictive overall, allowing full use of the customer's own MIDI and MP3 files for ringtones, etc.
Like most US CDMA carriers, Verizon makes heavy use of Qualcomm's BREW
technology, and uses it over Java
in case of phones where both are an option. By using BREW (which is branded Get It Now), Verizon locks users into its own applications, making it impossible to install anything Verizon doesn't offer (except for smart phones such as the Blackberry).
Verizon Wireless has removed features in firmware updates for the Motorola V710
and several other newer phones for ringtone transfers, making it more difficult - but not impossible - to transfer MP3s from the phone's microSD
card. This update also disabled editing of the homepage field in WebSessions making it more difficult to use alternate WAP
gateways. One result of this crippling has been a prominent network of "unofficial" web sites, documenting how to enable, access, or use hidden or crippled features. This often includes divulging service codes for new phone models, or homebrew software that can access otherwise hidden parts of the phone's memory system.
Verizon Wireless has implemented a standard user interface across all traditional (non-PDA / smart phone) handsets. Somewhat reminiscent of LG's
interface, this standard reduces support training costs. However, it has also anecdotally alienated some customers who prefer other phone manufacturer-specific interfaces.
Verizon Wireless had come under fire by "power users" of its EV-DO
wireless data network (called BroadbandAccess), for using language in its terms of service which heavily restricts what activities an EV-DO user can conduct even though the service is advertised as offering "Unlimited" data usage. The service was in fact limited to 5GB of data transfer per month. The language in Verizon Wireless' previous usage agreement stated:
Unlimited NationalAccess/BroadbandAccess services cannot be used (1) for uploading, downloading or streaming of movies, music or games, (2) with server devices or with host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, Voice over IP (VoIP), automated machine-to-machine connections, or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, or (3) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections... We reserve right to limit throughput or amount of data transferred, deny or terminate service, without notice, to anyone we believe is using NationalAccess or BroadbandAccess in any manner prohibited above or whose usage adversely impacts our network or service levels.
Under these terms, customers could have had their service shut off or suffered restricted bandwidth when using more than 5 GBs per month.
To clarify limits of use on its BroadbandAccess plans, Verizon Wireless introduced new pricing for BroadbandAccess in March 2008:
- $39.99 for 50 MBs (overage rate is $0.25 per MB, billed in full MB rounded up.)
- $59.99 for 5 GBs (overage rate is $0.25 per MB, billed in full MB rounded up.)
The usage agreement has also been updated to be more explicit in allowed and prohibited use of the network bandwidth.
"You may not use our Data Plans and Features for illegal purposes or purposes that infringe upon others' intellectual property rights, or in a manner that interferes with other users' service, interferes with the network's ability to fairly allocate capacity among users, or that otherwise degrades service quality for other users. Examples of prohibited usage include: (i) server devices or host computer applications, including continuous Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine–to–machine connections, or peer–to–peer (P2P) file–sharing applications that are broadcast to multiple servers or recipients such that they could enable "bots" or similar routines (as set forth in more detail in (iii) below) or otherwise denigrate network capacity or functionality; (ii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections; (iii) "auto–responders," "cancel–bots," or similar automated or manual routines that generate amounts of net traffic that could disrupt net user groups or e–mail use by others; (iv) generating "spam" or unsolicited commercial or bulk e–mail (or activities that facilitate the dissemination of such e–mail); (v) any activity that adversely affects the ability of other users or systems to use either Verizon Wireless' services or the Internet–based resources of others, including the generation or dissemination of viruses, malware, or "denial of service" attacks; (vi) accessing, or attempting to access without authority, the information, accounts or devices of others, or to penetrate, or attempt to penetrate, Verizon Wireless' or another entity's network or systems; or (vii) running software or other devices that maintain continuous active Internet connections when a computer's connection would otherwise be idle, or "keep alive" functions, unless they adhere to Verizon Wireless' requirements for such usage, which may be changed from time to time. By way of example only, you may not use a Data Plan or Feature for web broadcasting, or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices.
If your usage on a Data Plan or Feature that does not include a specific monthly Megabyte allowance or that is not billed on a pay–as–you–use basis exceeds 5 Gigabytes per account line during any billing period, we reserve the right to reduce throughput speed to a maximum of approximately 200 Kilobits per second for up to thirty days.
Handling of cell phone records in the Kelsey Smith case
On June 2, 2007, Kelsey Smith
, a teenager from Overland Park, Kansas, was abducted in a Target parking lot behind the Oak Park Mall
. She was murdered later that night, and immediately after an abandoned car was found, a search began for her. Local law enforcement involved in the investigation contacted Verizon Wireless, the family's cell phone provider at the time of the murder, for records to pinpoint a search location for her. Despite efforts made by the local investigators and eventually the FBI
, it took Verizon 3 days to hand over cell phone records to law enforcement. A Verizon technician pinpointed a cell phone tower and told investigators to search 1.1 miles north of the tower. Within 45 minutes, the body of Kelsey Smith was found. There is much controversy on why it took Verizon so long to cooperate with law enforcement.
- At the end of 2006, Verizon Wireless bought out West Virginia Wireless, a regional GSM cell phone company.
- On 30 July 2007, Rural Cellular Corporation (Unicel) announced it agreed to be acquired by Verizon Wireless (a CDMA carrier). Verizon said that it plans to convert RCC's GSM customers to CDMA technology, but it will continue to operate RCC's current GSM network in order to generate roaming revenue. The sale is expected to close in early 2008, pending approvals from the FCC and potentially the Department of Justice, to ensure that the acquisition won't be anti-competitive in some geographic areas. On 4 October 2007, Rural Cellular Corporation Shareholders Approve Merger Agreement with Verizon Wireless "ALEXANDRIA, Minn., October 04, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Rural Cellular Corporation ("RCC" or "the Company") (NASDAQ:RCCC) today announced that its shareholders voted to approve the merger agreement providing for the acquisition of Rural Cellular Corporation by Verizon Wireless for approximately $2.67 billion in cash and assumed debt."
- In November 2007, a few Rural Cellular (Unicel) Subscribers mounted an effort to stop this sale of Unicel because "Cell Phone Service Will Change" and "GSM Service Will End".
- On August 1, 2008, the FCC voted to approve the deal. Per the Department of Justice, Verizon will divest certain properties in New York, Vermont, and Washington in order to complete the acquisition.
- In mid 2007, Ramcell of Oregon made a deal to sell its assets to Verizon Wireless, Integration of local company to increase coverage area in Southern Oregon began in late 2007.
- On 22 January 2008 SureWest Communications announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the operating assets of its Wireless business to Verizon Wireless.
- On 5 June 2008, Verizon Wireless announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Alltel for US$5.9 billion, plus the assumption of debt, in a deal that will create the biggest mobile phone company in the U.S. surpassing AT&T. This also would allow Verizon to become the 10th largest wireless carrier on Earth. Based on Alltel's projected net debt at closing of $22.2 billion, the aggregate value of the deal is $28.1 billion. The merger should be complete by the end of the year, pending regulatory approvals.
Verizon Wireless competitors
Wireless (in order of customer totals)
Verizon Wireless's MVNOs
Early in 2006, Verizon announced their intent to buy out the remaining 45% of stock of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone
. Vodafone, however, stated they “have no current plans to exit” the US market by giving up its stake in Verizon Wireless.
On December 19, 2006, it was announced Verizon Wireless' CEO Denny Strigl has been called up to parent Verizon Communications to be the company's new President and COO. He was to begin serving in the new post on January 1, 2007. Verizon Wireless COO Lowell McAdam was to take over Strigl's role as CEO of VZW.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and Verizon Wireless announced on May 5 that they have signed a 5-year agreement for Qwest to market and sell Verizon Wireless service beginning this summer. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.