Verizon CEO: We think our network is ready and we’re going to work our tail off on iPhone

Charlie Rose has interviewed Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg for Businessweek.

Some snippets:

Rose: Do you expect to have the problems AT&T had with the iPhone? The argument is that its network was overwhelmed.
Seidenberg: We’ve prepared greatly. We’ve observed everything that’s gone on with what they’ve done. A little-known fact is that we carry almost as much data as they do. So even though we don’t have the iPhone today, our Droid users are heavy data users… So we’ve had good success in carrying a lot of data up until this point. We think a key issue for us is going to be that customers, if they get a better experience on a smart device using our network, that’s going to be a very important element of our marketing strategy. We think we’re ready, and we’re not going to talk much about it. We’re just going to let the performance speak for itself.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully Seidenberg’s definition of “almost” isn’t too liberal, but we have a sneaking suspicion that he’s in for a surprise when he sees how much data iPhone wills demand from his network.

Rose: Having presided over this, was it hard for you to have to make a deal with Apple in which your logo’s not going to be on the phone?
Seidenberg: No. I’m fine with that, simply because—I want to make sure I say this right, because I don’t want it to come out wrong—we get a lot of customers on the Droid devices, so I think we’ve already proven that we’re more than a one-device company. We’re going to work our tail off to do a great job on the iPhone. But I think we’re going to continue to do a great job on the BlackBerry and a great job on the Droid.

MacDailyNews Take: Translation: Pretend iPhones helped get us to the Apple iPhone deal that we always wanted, so I’ll say nice things, and even run a few more ads, while we prepare to focus intently on iPhone going forward. As pretend iPhone users’ plans come up for renewal over the next two years and most of our customers upgrade to actual iPhones, we won’t need to resort to constant cheeseball BOGOF promotions in order to move fake iPhones. Good luck to Android and other non-iOS device makers, you’re gonna need it.

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Apple, Verizon and 90% of internet traffic will be video means what
    for these two companies? Can it mean new and much wanted services and products offered? Probably, and lots of money to be made as a result.

    Mmmmmmm AAPL.

  2. Verizon has an opportunity to put an end to AT&T’s rates rape! If they come out with unlimited data and the ability to swap out SIM’s without jailbreaking I will gladly pay whatever contract breaking fee it takes.

  3. Cooter612:

    You are new, aren’t you? Verizon is offering the same plans for iPhone as for Droids and other smartphones ($15 for only 150Mb, or $30 for unlimited, on top of whatever voice plan you choose).

    As for the ability to swap out SIM cards, Verizon is CDMA. No compatibility with GSM, no SIM cards (on CDMA networks in US).

    Besides you don’t need to jailbreak your AT&T iPhone in order to be able to swap your SIM card. You just need to unlock it. When you jailbreak it, you no longer can use Apple’s software updates — you’re on your own — and the phone is still locked to AT&T. When you unlock it, you can put any SIM into it, and AT&T software updates work perfectly well.

    Apparently, large percentage of people keep confusing jailbreaking and unlocking.

  4. AT&T, Verizon…it’s all good. Add more iPhone users and spread the wireless bandwidth across multiple carriers. I hope that T-Mobile and Sprint begin offering the iPhone, as well.

    No need for the anger or bitterness. Just vote with your dollar and try to improve the things that you can in life.

  5. Until you can buy an unsubsidised iPhone and use it with Virgin Mobile, monthly data (and voice) rates won’t differ all that much between the big carriers. It all ends up at least $80 (with taxes and other charges) for the cheapest voice plan plus unlimited (or high-end) data plan.

  6. Last year, we did a fiber build-out to over 20 Verizon towers in one market alone.
    That’s why I was confident the iPhone really was coming to Verizon this time….

  7. The more people who switch, the better it’ll be on AT&T.

    As for what he said:
    Seidenberg: No. I’m fine with that, simply because—I want to make sure I say this right, because I don’t want it to come out wrong—we get a lot of customers on the Droid devices…

    What he really meant:
    We don’t need to brand the iPhone as our own, because we have plenty of other manufacturers whom we can b*tchslap around like Motorola and Samsung.

  8. @KenC,

    At first, I agreed with your statement “The more people who switch, the better it’ll be on AT&T.”

    What will happen is Parkinson’s Law. As more people switch to Verizon, freeing up space on ATT, the remaining ATT customers will make more calls.

  9. Bandwidth problems won’t be the same for VZ as they were for ATT due to the old tech VZ uses that won’t let you call and use the iphone at the same time for web, as an example. ATT uses a lot more BW per iPhone that what VZ will, so if VZ can’t keep up, that will be a HUGE problem once the new phones come out that allow the full function of the iPhone to be used.

  10. The amount of time the iPhone users spend to talk and surf at the same time is negligible. That is NOT the reason for Verizon’s problems.

    In fact, I don’t think Verizon will even have such significant problems. Mainly because CDMA is inherently more economical for a carrier than GSM. There are several technological explanations for this, but the simple point is that CDMA has better penetration through obstacles, and it can accommodate more handsets per single tower than GSM. These two points together make it significantly cheaper for Verizon to get same or similar coverage and accessibility in a certain area than AT&T. In other words, fewer towers for same coverage. Add to that the “Not in my back yard” sentiment that so many (sub)urban neighbourhoods in US have today, and it is clear why it is so difficult for AT&T to expand and improve their coverage. If they can’t put towers where they need them because somebody with money is preventing the town council from approving that, there is very little else AT&T can do.

  11. you gotta love the P.R. firms that prepare these guys to speak and answer questions.

    Yes Verizon uses as much data as AT&T. PER USER. Now when Verizon catches up to the amount of smartphone users AT&T has, lets see if the network can handle the load then. I’m not an AT&T fanboy nor any network, I think they are pirates for the price they charge for the service they provide.

    Don’t hold your breath on the dual mode over CDMA, you’re talking about moving from low end DSL to dial up modem. That is just hope in a box.

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