Verizon Wireless as you know has been one of the big boys of the wireless sector here in North America. Along with AT&T and Sprint they continue to dominate the North American market. However for quite some time they have been known as the slow poke of the wireless world, always trailing Sprint or AT&T in adopting new services. Focusing more on their network rather than bringing new services to their end users. I am sure you all have seen those goofy “Can you hear me now?” campaigns.
However today marks the arrival of a newer, fresher Verizon when they announced release of Mobile Web 2.0. All this started late last year when they announced a key deal with YouTube. Since then VZW has been gradually improving its mobile offering to become the best in the North American market.
Through the Mobile Web 2.0 offering VZW will bring the following key features to bear:
- New Content Channels — Local, Connect, Tools, Commute, and Money give customers more options
- New Search functionality — Allows both keyword and local search, enabling customers to easily discover sites and content of local interest
- Improved graphics — Tabbed graphics, top headlines with photo links and refined features improve cursor discovery and location
- Dropdown headlines — Allow customers to select up to seven headlines, for faster access to articles — 10 Button Navigation — Improved navigation and menu structure provides customers with more options on each page
Although some of the aforementioned features aren’t that significant, they are surely a move in the right direction. This offering along with ESPN MVP, YouTube and VCast places VZW in the forefront of the carrier data market.
These efforts are already paying dividends. Looking at the market results from first half of this year, once can easily derive following key points on VZW’s success in the data services domain:
- Verizon overtook Sprint in data ARPU with a 13% increase from its Q107 numbers to $9.84 making it the market leader.
- The strongest growth continues to come from Verizon, accounting for almost 31% of industry’s data revenue in Q207. Its data service revenues jumped by 13% Q/Q to $1.8B. Verizon was followed by AT&T at $1.65B, Sprint at $1.2B, and T-Mobile at $613M.
- Verizon led in % data contribution to ARPU with 19% followed by AT&T at 17.3%, Sprint at 16.3%, and T-Mobile at 15%.
- Verizon recorded 10B TXT messages in June setting a record of messaging volume at a single carrier. For the quarter 28.3B TXT messages were sent on its network. AT&T recorded 18B TXT messages for the quarter.
These efforts are proving quite successful for Verizon on the whole as their stock has consistently increased in the past year. Along with their much successful FIOS offering they are really pushing the envelope in a big way.
So while AT&T is worrying about its new iPhone customers and Sprint making deals with Google, Verizon continues to be focussed and is taking the market lead. Verizon clearly is no longer the follower and a slow poke. In the past year they have clearly emerged as the data leader in the North American market.