The future of the biz, according the Verizon CTO Richard Lynch, lies in broadband, the copper biz is fading out. The growth of data transported by 2G systems in Verizon has basically stayed stable in the 2004-2008 period whilst 3G has moved from 0 to 4,000 TB per year and the forecast for LTE is a growth in the range of 2,000,000 TB, that is a 500 times growth and this will happen in the next 5 years. The content streamed is similarly growing, along with the User Generated Content.
In front of this figure a company like Verizon has no option but become a broadband company based on fibre and LTE.
FIOS today provides multi-room DVR, 500 television channels, 120 HD channels, 15,000 movie titles per month, widgets and 50/20 Mbps (down/up) speed. Video subscription grew from 1.6 M 3Q2008 to 2.7 M 3Q2009, and 2.2M bought data connection in 2008 growing to 3.3M in the 3Q2009, most of them happy with 10Mbps (not paying surcharge for higher speed).
Although they have plenty of fibre, Verizon looks at its biz as a wireless one and is committed to LTE, they have created an LTE Innovation center open to industry and is performing an LTE network trial, including streaming video.
Verizon is thinking on moving from proprietary shops to sell their services and devices with their own apps store and customer support to a mall paradigm where customer will find Verizon offer, can buy apps there or somewhere else, get support from Verizon or from the “geek squad”.
Openness is the way to go: it cuts costs and increase the market reach. Additionally it may incentivise Consumer Electronics to use Verizon Networks (and a good step in that direction has been the 700MHz auction).This Openness can also be seen at the level of service creation where Verizon is enabling third parties developing services making use of their data centre to get customer data like position, terminal type… and Verizon gets paid per “dip” (that is for every query related to one of their customers). IMS is seen as a way to control these accesses and maintain value in the network.