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Verizon Communications Inc. is a global leader in communications and technology solutions, headquartered in New York City. Verizon provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and government agencies around the world.
Verizon was created in 2000 as the result of a merger between Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp. This was one of the largest mergers in United States business history. The company’s name was derived from a combination of the Latin word ‘veritas’, meaning truth, and ‘horizon.’ At its start, Verizon was the largest fixed-line telephone company in the United States. It has since become one of the leading providers in wireless communications, priding itself on its reliability. Verizon has greatly expanded its business portfolio over the past few years through a significant number of acquisitions and mergers. Although the company still provides the services it began with, fixed-line and wireless communication, it has used each acquisition as a means to expand and evolve into new services. In 2015, Verizon had $131.6 billion in revenue, which landed it at number 13 on the Fortune 500 list.
At the core of Verizon’s original business were fixed-line and wireless services. Despite its origins as a fixed-line telephone company, the revenue from company’s wireless services began to exceed that of its fixed-line (wireline) services in 2008. The company’s wireless service, which operates under the name Verizon Wireless, got its start in 2000 when Bell Atlantic and London-based Vodafone AirTouch Plc decided to merge to start a new wireless service.
Once Bell Atlantic and GTE merged, Verizon gained GTE’s wireless assets, making it the nation’s largest wireless company. In order to maintain its momentum in the industry, the company made more than $100 billion in wireless investments through 2015. This includes multiple acquisitions to expand its brand, including MCI in 2006, Rural Cellular Corp in 2008 and Alltel in 2009. With the acquisition of Alltel, Verizon Wireless became the largest wireless service provider in the United States.
In 2008, the company made a large investment in nationwide and individual market spectrum licenses during an FCC auction. This investment allowed Verizon to launch its 4G LTE network in 2010 (the most advanced 4G network in the U.S. at the time). Between 2011 and 2015, Verizon made additional investments in spectrum licenses to expand its wireless network development and customer growth. Today, Verizon Wireless has the largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. It’s also in the process of developing and testing new 5G technology. In addition, the company continues to offer its wireline services. These are often packaged with its FiOS Internet and FiOS TV services. However, Verizon has divested a number of its wireline markets in order to focus on its other services.
After becoming a leader in wireline and wireless communications, Verizon set its sights on a new venture – global media technology – with the acquisition of AOL in 2015. This acquisition allowed the company to stay relevant in the ever-changing global media industry. With many people phasing out their fixed-line telephone connections, it is difficult to see growth in that segment.
In addition, as the company is already a leader in the wireless industry, the only way to see growth in this segment is by providing additional services. As such, Verizon wanted to find new revenue streams that could build off of its established brand. Hence the acquisition of AOL. This has allowed the company to build digital and video platforms, as well as expand its LTE wireless video and OTT (over-the-top video) business.
This acquisition also gave Verizon the ability to launch its mobile first, social entertainment platform, Go90, which provides ad-supported mobile video streaming. With Go90, Verizon broadened its possibilities, including a new joint venture with Hearst, Verizon Hearst Media Partners. The goal of this venture is to use Verizon’s advanced technology and Hearst’s digital video content and production capabilities to create digital video programming that targets the mobile millennial audience. The digital content produced for Verizon Hearst Media Partners will be distributed on its two channels. First, RatedRed.com, which offers news, documentaries, scripted and unscripted programming from a millennial perspective. And second Seriously.TV, which provides comedic news updates throughout the day.
One of Verizon’s newest business segments is Verizon Enterprise Solutions. This segment offers advanced information and communication technology services, as well as business communications services. Some of Verizon’s advanced information and communications technology services include Internet Protocol (IP) network, cloud, and information technology solutions. In addition, the company offers IoT (Internet of Things), data, security and mobility services. With the addition of these services, Verizon has proven that it is able to adapt and evolve with the changing communications and technology world.
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