|Subsidiary of Verizon Communications|
|Founded||April 4, 2000
Bedminster, New Jersey, United States
|Headquarters||Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States|
Number of locations
|Footnotes / references
Verizon Wireless (often branded and referred to simply as Verizon) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon Communications. As of August 2015, Verizon Wireless provided wireless services to 137.5 million subscribers. It is the largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States.
Headquartered in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, the company was originally a joint venture of American telecommunications firm Bell Atlantic, which would soon become Verizon Communications, and global British telecommunications company Vodafone.
As of September 2nd, 2015, Verizon changed their logo and slogan to the current ones, with the new slogan, "Better Matters."
In September 2000, American phone company Bell Atlantic and U.K.-based Vodafone Airtouch PLC announced they would create a new wireless phone service joint venture valued at $70 billion in September 1999. The joint venture was being created as Bell Atlantic underwent a merger with GTE Corporation. In April 2000, the companies announced that the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger would take the name Verizon and that the Bell Atlantic-Vodafone wireless unit would be called Verizon Wireless. Verizon Communications owned 55 percent of Verizon Wireless while Vodafone retained 45 percent ownership. Regulators with the Federal Communications Commission approved the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger June 16, 2000, creating the largest wireless company in the U.S. Verizon Wireless held this market position until Cingular acquired AT&T in 2004.
Throughout the 2000s, Verizon acquired several wireless phone companies and assets across the country, including West Virginia Wireless in 2006; Ramcell in 2007; Rural Cellular Corporation and SureWest Communications, both in 2008. Also in 2008, Verizon struck a deal to buy Alltel for $5.9 billion in equity while assuming $22.2 billion worth of debt. The deal finalized January 9, 2009, again making Verizon Wireless the country's biggest cellphone network. As per the agreement, Verizon sold rural wireless properties across 18 states to AT&T. Those properties were in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. Verizon's acquisitions continued in the 2010s, including the purchases of some Plateau Wireless markets in 2012 and Golden State Cellular's operator in 2014.
Majority owner Verizon Communications became sole owner of its wireless business in 2014, when it bought Vodafone's 45 percent stake. Vodafone received $58.9 billion cash, $60.2 billion in stock and $11 billion in other transactions. An article in The New York Times estimated Verizon Wireless' valuation at about $290 billion.
A November 2014 story in The Washington Post reported that Verizon Wireless used "supercookies" to track its mobile customers on the Web for targeted advertisements. After facing criticism for the practice, Verizon Wireless announced in January 2015 that customers could opt-out of the program.
Verizon Wireless is one of two major U.S. carriers that use CDMA2000 (Code Division Multiple Access), the other being Sprint. Alltel also used CDMA2000 before mostly becoming part of Verizon Wireless (with part divested to AT&T Mobility). Verizon supports three generations of CDMA-based cellular network technologies (IS-95 for 2G voice and data, 1xRTT for 2.5G voice and data, and EV-DO for 3G data) in addition to LTE for 4G voice and broadband data. LTE connectivity was launched in December 2010 in 38 cities. At that time, 4G service was only offered as a mobile broadband data option. 4G-compatible Verizon mobile phones were released in the first quarter of 2011.
In areas where Verizon has no native coverage, such as parts of Maryland, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Maine, Montana, and Puerto Rico, Verizon roams onto other regional CDMA and LTE networks (if the carrier is part of the LTE in Rural America program) through carriers such as U.S. Cellular, Pioneer Cellular, and other partner carriers. Verizon refers to these networks as "Extended", and customers can use their devices as they would in Verizon's native coverage area, with some Verizon services being unavailable.
On June 30, 2007, Verizon Wireless completed the overhaul of the entire EV-DO network to EV-DO Rev. A. This enables PC Cards and certain phones to obtain theoretical peak download speeds of 3.1 Mbit/s and upload speeds of up to 1.8 Mbit/s. The actual download and upload speeds vary due to a number of factors, and users will typically see speeds close to 1 Mbit/s down, and 500 kbit/s up.
On November 27, 2007, Verizon Wireless announced plans to allow all cell phones compatible with their CDMA-based cellular network technology to run on their network. Users of such phones are also allowed to use any application they wish.
However, on September 20, 2007, Verizon Wireless 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. On December 9, 2008, Verizon announced that they intended to build and begin to roll out an LTE network, by the beginning of 2011. Adopting LTE would make for a gradual shift away from Verizon Wireless’ current use of CDMA-based cellular network technology and offer increased operability for users traveling worldwide.
On December 5, 2010 Verizon Wireless launched its "4G LTE" (Long Term Evolution) network. In an announcement made on January 6, 2011, from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless stated in the first half of 2011 they would release: 10 new LTE devices including, five smartphones, two tablets, two netbooks, and two MiFi hotspots.
In September 2014, it began offering "Advanced Calling 1.0" service (also called "HD Voice" in the industry) via voice over LTE within its own footprint, and regular calling via roaming on other carriers.
Radio frequency summary
The following is a list of known 3G and LTE frequencies which Verizon employs in the United States:
|Frequency Band||Band number||Protocol||Class||Status||Notes|
|850 MHz||0||1xRTT/EV-DO/eHRPD||3G||Active||Planning to retain for Internet of Things.|
|1900 MHz PCS||1||1xRTT/EV-DO/eHRPD||3G||Reallocating to 4G |
|700 MHz Block C||13||LTE||4G||Active||Main LTE band, completed deployment mid-2013. |
|1700/2100 MHz AWS||4||LTE||4G||Active||Branded as "XLTE", Additional band for increased bandwidth in major markets.|
|1900 MHz PCS||2||LTE||4G||Being Deployed ||Additional band for increased bandwidth. |
Verizon Wireless offers various proprietary smartphone apps for devices on its network. The company launched a cloud-based storage service called Verizon Cloud in April 2013, initially for Android phones, followed the next month by a launch for iOS. The Verizon Cloud app allows users to backup data, including photos, videos, contacts, messages and call logs, which are then accessible on computers and tablets. The My Verizon Mobile app allows Android, iOS and BlackBerry smartphone users to access their accounts to change settings, plans and features while monitoring data usage or making bill payments. Verizon Messages is a text messaging app that allows users to send and receive text, photo and video messages from the user's cellphone and also via their computers and non-cellphone Android and iOS devices. VZ Navigator is Verizon's paid, subscription-based maps and navigation application. It provides turn-by-turn navigation, crowdsourced traffic data, weather, events and entertainment listings, gas prices, roadside assistance, 2D and 3D views. On Android phones, the wireless company offers an app called Verizon Support & Protection for anti-virus protection. The same app for iOS offers help for users to find lost phones.
The company has a subscription-based app for families called Verizon Family Locator that helps track family members. It works on up to 10 phones and features locations, maps, directions, text messages and other information. Additionally, the company created another family-focused subscription-based app called Verizon Family Base that allows parents to restrict when and how their children use their phones, view their children's contacts and lock the devices. Verizon also offers an app called GizmoPal that controls a wearable wrist phone for young children. The app gives parents and guardians the ability to restrict who can call their children. Additionally, it provides access to the GPS of the children's device.
The company's NFL Mobile from Verizon app is free for Android, iOS and Windows phones to livestream NFL games and NFL Network. It also has an app aimed at INDYCAR fans called INDYCAR 15. The app is for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, featuring live in-car streaming and conversations between INDYCAR drivers and their crews.
Other Verizon Wireless apps include Field Force Manager, which allows employers to manage employees with GPS, management timesheets and oversee travel, Visual Voice Mail and Roadside Assistance.
Wireless Home Phone
In February 2011, Verizon Wireless rolled out "Home Phone Connect". This wireless home phone service competes directly with landline services from local carriers and offers unlimited US calling for $19.99/month plus taxes and surcharges. Although the Verizon Wireless Network is used to carry the signal to and from the residence where the service is installed, subscribers use their home phones rather than a mobile handset to make and receive calls. The device which interfaces between the Verizon network and home phones is identical in function to the devices called ATAs which VoIP providers like Vonage use as an interface between the Internet and phones. Verizon Wireless promotes the fact that no Internet connection is required and supplies the interface device for free with a two-year contract or charges a one time fee of $99.99 on a month-to-month plan.
On July 17, 2014, Verizon Wireless changed the name of the "Home Phone Connect" to "Wireless Home Phone", matching the general industry term also used by AT&T and others. The need for change explained by Verizon: "We want our product names to be more descriptive of what the products are. These names are simple, descriptive and will help our customers better understand what services are provided".
The device supplied by Verizon Wireless includes battery backup so that, like a PSTN line, it will continue to function during a power outage. It also has a GPS so that accurate location information can be provided on a 911 call.
The service is not compatible with satellite TV DVRs, medical monitoring devices, fax machines, and most wired home monitoring systems. Wireless security systems, however, circumvent the need for a landline connection and are therefore unaffected by the switch to Verizon's device.
LTE in rural America
The LTE in Rural America Program (or LRA program), introduced in May 2010, covers about 2.6 million people in areas totaling more than 100,000 square miles, as of May 2015. Currently, 21 rural wireless carriers participate in the program. Verizon provides technical support and resources to help a rural wireless company build out its own 4G LTE network. The program extends the footprint of 4G LTE coverage for both the rural carrier and Verizon, as customers can take advantage of both networks.
- Appalachian Wireless
- Bluegrass Cellular
- Carolina West Wireless
- Chariton Valley
- Chat Mobility
- Convergence Technologies
- Copper Valley Telecom
- Sprocket Wireless
- Custer Telephone
- Ketchikan Public Utilities
- Matanuska Telephone Association
- Mid-Rivers Wireless
- Northwest Missouri
- Pioneer Cellular
- Sagebrush Cellular
- Strata Networks
- S & R Communications
- Thumb Cellular
On October 14, 2010 Apple Inc. and Verizon Wireless announced a partnership that would bring the Apple iPad to Verizon Wireless Stores across the United States on October 28, 2010. While the collaboration on original iPad did not see Verizon compatible technology embedded, current iPad models have Verizon technology embedded, and are compatible with Verizon's 4G LTE network.
On January 11, 2011, Verizon announced during a media event that it had reached an agreement with Apple Inc. and would begin selling a CDMA2000 iPhone 4, which was previously exclusive to AT&T. All iPhone models since the iPhone 5 are compatible with Verizon's 4G LTE network. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were the first iPhone's to support Verizon's VoLTE technology (marketed as Advanced Calling 1.0).
Tracking of users
In late 2014 it became known that Verizon Wireless uses deep packet inspection for server-side insertion of a customer-unique ID field ("X-UIDH") into all unencrypted HTTP headers. The mechanism has been referred to as "supercookie" or "perma-cookie", although it is not technically a cookie in that it does not store information on the customers device and is transparent to the user. It can not be averted with common mechanisms like ad-blockers; however it can not be inserted into encrypted HTTPS and VPN connections. Verizon advertises the system to marketing partners. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called on Verizon to terminate the program, calling it a "profound violation of trust", expressing concern over abuse by third parties, and questioning the legality of Verizon modifying their users' outgoing data without offering them the possibility of a full opt-out. In January 2015, Verizon announced they would give customers the option of opting out, and as of April 1, 2015, Verizon now allows customers to opt-out either online or calling a special phone number.
- Comparison of mobile phone standards
- Page Plus Cellular
- Venturi Transport Protocol
- Vodafone in the Americas
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