Verizon got to the top by investing time and money on its network (UPDATE)

Verizon got to the top by investing time and money on its network (UPDATE)
Chuck Hamby, Verizon's Communications Director overseeing the carrier's network, took some time to chat with us this morning and he told us what has made Verizon so successful. By investing time and money in the company's network, Verizon has been able to maintain its position as the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. Last year, Verizon spent $11 billion on its network, more than twice as much as its closest rival.

UPDATE: AT&T reached out to us today to give us the following statement- "Because of the increasing integration between our wireless and wired offerings, we no longer break out our wireless network spending. But I can assure you that the notion that our wireless investment is only half of Verizon's is pure fiction. Not to mention the additional $18 billion we invested in the AWS-3 auction last year – nearly twice what Verizon spent – which gives us a clear advantage in terms of spectrum holdings."-AT&T Spokesman

Hamby said that the network is Verizon's foundation, and even with the recent J.D. Power survey which gave the company a resounding victory over the other three major stateside carriers, the company is always looking to improve. Speaking of which, he clarified a comment about 5G service made last September by Roger Gurnani, chief information and technology architect for Verizon. At the time, Gurnani said that "some level of commercial deployment" will begin as soon as 2017. Hamby told us that the statement didn't refer to smartphones and was about products related to IoT. He does see the future of wireless being heavy on video consumption.

We also asked Verizon's Communication Director about the infamous "balls" ad that was quickly parodied by T-Mobile and Sprint. Hamby pointed out that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. He also said that the RootMetrics data used by Verizon in the ads contained a "healthy dose of truth," and accused T-Mobile and Sprint of hiding behind their balls.

Hamby also revealed that the biggest surprise in the industry over the last ten years is the full adoption of the smartphone to the point that this device in your pocket can provide you in a split second with the kind of information that you used to have to thumb through a large encyclopedia to find. 

Lastly, we asked him to give us a quick summary of Verizon's rivals. He sees AT&T as a long-time solid tech company, while calling T-Mobile a "worthy challenger". Sprint, he said, should not be underestimated.

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22 Comments

1. Acdc1a

Posts: 470; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

No! Verizon got to the "top" by mergers and acquisitions.

6. bambamboogy02

Posts: 834; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

The investment on their network didn't help huh? 11 Billion last year, alone. They invest more in their own network than any other provider. Give credit where it's due. The "top" it's referring to is not customer base, but network quality and reliability.

7. kaintae

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

I guess mergers and acquisitions aren't a financial investment

14. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

I guess no other carrier has ever acquired any other mobile company, huh?

2. Zylam

Posts: 1807; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

CDMA ruined the US cellular market. Nice work Verizon, while the rest of the Entire world enjoyed the same bands and technology, you sat there forcing CDMA Down everyone's face.

4. Furbal unregistered

I really hope that we see some type of unified/common bands for 5g. I want to use any phone I want...

8. kaintae

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Who forced you to get a Verizon phone?

9. Bernoulli

Posts: 4359; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Verizon, otherwise you didn't get any service.

16. kaintae

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

crazy. i forgot verizon was the only carrier in the US.

17. Bernoulli

Posts: 4359; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Ei no problem, glad I, a random person on the Internet, was able to remind you that in many parts of usa Verizon is the only one to offer coverage.

21. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

There are also areas where AT&T has service where Verizon and other carriers don't. There is no one carrier that covers everyone. In my area Verizon says we're under full coverage yet we need Network Extenders to have service in our house and need to drive several miles from our house to get service, even though that wasn't the case a few years back. That's my main issue with them. They point to their coverage map to show how superior their coverage is, bit if you look closely, those make don't show actual coverage, only where they CAN provide service. There reasoning why it's not considered fraud is because they let you cancel the contract if you can't get service in the areas they show as covered.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The majority of the world uses GSM, but not all of it. IIRC in Asia they use CDMA in some areas. And just because it's GSM doesn't mean it's the same bands. Same technology, different bands.

3. ix3ph09

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I have had verizon for the last 4 years. I live in the Northern CA valley and get 3g half the places I go. 3g is too slow to use. They need to upgrade their network in Northern CA!

10. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Get AT&T

19. ix3ph09

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I'm grandfathered into an unlimited data plan with Verizon so I'll stick with them until we lose it. I will consider AT&T if that ever happens.

23. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Unlimited 3G still sucks though.

11. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

If you are telling the truth where in northern Cali are you?

18. ix3ph09

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

My area code is 95824. Whenever I go inside buildings, my phone drops down to 3g. I barely get signal at work (no LTE inside buildings) and same in the Davis, CA area.

5. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

LoL. Other companies want to invest too, but FCC blocking. TMobile and Sprint merger comes to mind.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

One problem with Verizon became apparent to me last year. Our Network Extender went down and while we were waiting for it's replacement, I noticed that signal from the towers seemed to be worse than it was before we started using a NE. I got ahold of the regional tech support from Verizon (actual engineers who come out to the area to check on issues) and was told that the newer networks only carry signal about 5-9 miles from the towers (where 3G used to carry around 15-20 miles). But I pointed out that their carrier map still showed me in full signal, not spotty coverage. I was then informed that those make don't show actual coverage strength, but where they CAN OFFER service. Considering they use those make to bring in new customers, that certainly sounds shady to me. I asked how that wasn't false advertising, and the guy told me that they had their 14 day period where you could cancel. So they don't care that it's false advertising, as long as they don't hold you to the contract because of their faulty information. I REALLY hope my area gets some more cellular carriers in it, because Verizon's BS is getting tired.

20. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Its no just Verizon that over estimates their coverage maps, its all carriers. I tried T-Mobile at the end of last year when their coverage map clearly showed that I would have full strength 4G signal and the results were not pretty (2.67kbps down and 2.18kbps up). With contracts going the way of the dodo this sort of "false advertising" (which I agree with you, it is) is something they will be able to get away with, at least until enough people get together to file a class-action on the wireless industry as a whole and hold them responsible for their lies....

22. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The problem with class action suits, IIRC, is that in their contracts customers are barred from such suits. So it's set up that if you want to bring a lawsuit, you're on your own vs them and their high powered legal team and deep pockets. How they can bar people from joining class action suits is beyond me. I can't believe that consumer protection groups wouldn't have fought this toothand nail, but I imagine these carriers have much deeper pockets. America at it's finest. This country is turning into the machine that grinds up it's citizens under the guise of progress.

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