Verizon Wireless Responding to Georgia’s Marketplace
Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Jonathan LeCompte, president of the Georgia/Alabama Region for Verizon Wireless, has been with Verizon and its legacy companies for over 20 years, starting out in the organization as a customer service representative. Not only have his responsibilities expanded and changed over the last two decades, but so has the wireless industry. “When I started here,” he says, “wireless was a status symbol.” In today’s digital climate, wireless is almost essential. People not only want it and the services that come with it, they need it. In 2014, more than 474 billion voice and data transmissions occurred on the Verizon Wireless network across Georgia, an increase of 28 percent from 2013.
Verizon’s network supports the activities of households, educators, healthcare institutions and industries. It provides accessibility to resources and information in real time. “The most important factor for consumers and businesses alike is for their device to work when and where they want it to,” says LeCompte. “Our network will always be the foundation of our business.” To that end, last year alone Verizon invested $227 million in network enhancements across Georgia. Upgrades included 145-plus new cell sites and XLTE capabilities for high traffic areas like Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Albany, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Rome, Valdosta and Waycross, enabling more customers to access network capabilities at high speeds simultaneously.
LeCompte says the biggest challenge in the wireless marketplace is to overcome the “noise.” Consumers are bombarded with choices but scant facts to aid in discerning the differences between those choices. He says, “Our products and offerings need to be simple, but our portfolio needs to be big enough to meet everybody’s needs.” Recognition of Verizon Wireless as Georgia’s overall top wireless provider based on the categories of reliability, speed, data, call and text by RootMetrics earlier this year demonstrates the company’s commitment to its growing customer base in the state. Verizon focuses on accessibility and approachability from the consumer standpoint and, of course, providing a reliable network that clients don’t even have to think about.
Verizon is equally invested in innovation, in developing applications of wireless technology to improve human interaction with the world. Last November, Verizon Wireless entered into a multi-year partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology for the purpose of fostering innovations within the advancing Internet of Things (IoT). LeCompte says the two areas in which he expects the most dynamic evolution and application are that of home monitoring (everything from alarm systems to thermostat settings) and of smart cities (to improve parking, traffic flow and other issues).
Connecting people, places and things, once predicted to be the wave of the future, has arrived. Through its innovation centers – for example, Verizon Telematics headquartered in Atlanta – Verizon supports advancement of new technologies that integrate 4G LTE connectivity for the benefit of its clients. As applications of IoT increase in both the public and private sectors, Verizon seeks to convert to reality imaginative ways in which objects communicate with other objects and interface with humans. “There are so many solutions being generated out there to improve access to information," says LeCompte. Business entities that have yet to develop a strategic plan for incorporating IoT should not wait to start the process.
For the individual consumer, LeCompte says IoT innovation gains will center on convenience and entertainment. Though he has not specifically named the innovations, he suggests that they will become concrete for consumers in the next six to nine months.
“When you look at all these technologies,” he says, “the backbone of every product still comes down to the network.” The hardware and software are only as powerful as the wireless network on which they ride. “We will continue to heavily, heavily invest in our network.” Expect Verizon to not only remain the largest, most reliable 4G wireless network but the most responsive to the marketplace, as well.