Verizon seems happy to stay out of the current wireless industry consolidation climate. Discussing the topic at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam seemed comfortable with his company’s lead over its competitors.
In network terms, McAdam put Verizon three to four years ahead of Sprint and T-Mobile and a year ahead of fellow heavyweight AT&T.
The subject came up during discussion of Verizon’s recently confirmed deal to buy Vodafone’s 45-percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion. McAdam said he expects that deal to be finalized by the first quarter of 2014 and for the benefits to end-users to kick in right away.
“Vodafone never stopped us from doing what we needed to do but this deal will make us more agile,” McAdam told the audience, pointing out converged services as a huge opportunity moving forward.
Video will play a big role in future mobile service models and McAdam also sees video as one of the big reasons Verizon won’t go to an unlimited approach anytime soon.
Verizon is already thinking about 5G technologies to keep up with video demand but right now, it’s focused on monetizing. McAdam nodded to his company’s NFL deal—Verizon will be broadcasting the Super Bowl—and mentioned ESPN as a leader in moving towards a paid-for mobile video content model. He also talked about video compression advances, taking the individual transmission rate from 10 MB to 2 MB, as an upcoming chance to drive down mobile video costs.
Beyond video, McAdam sees M2M opportunities like healthcare, energy and vehicle telematics as billions of dollars worth of market growth for the wireless industry.