Verizon’s business has held up incredibly well through the economic downturn, says John Killian, Verizon Communications CFO, speaking at the Reuters Technology Summit in New York this week. But he didn’t want to talk about the iPhone.
“We’ve continued to invest in the business. We haven’t slowed down investment at all…in the middle of the downturn, we bought a $20 billion acquisition of another wireless provider, Alltel,” he said.
Killian was asked about the booming netbook segment and cited data consumption as the main reason for going forward with the portable laptops. “It’s really part of our wireless data product line…it’s another capability that we offer both to consumers and business,” he said.
When asked about the prepaid option, Verizon Wireless typically has been less than enthusiastic, and Killian reasserted the company’s reluctance to lean heavily on that segment.
“Our top priority is the postpaid marketplace,” said Killian, while also citing 300,000 new prepaid customers. “We are picking up some new prepaid customers, but we don’t see the need to go to a $50 unlimited plan. Our network is too good and too well positioned to be in that space and that’s not our position,” Killian said.
When pressed as to whether Verizon would like to be selling the iPhone, Killian refused to comment on the device, stressing that Verizon is “very satisfied with where we’re at.”
“We have a wide array of PDA devices, we’ll have several new introductions as we go through 2009. We do not feel we’re at any market disadvantage right now, and we’re very satisfied with the product line we have,” Killian said.
Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, also spoke at the summit but refused to comment on the future of its partnership with Apple on the iPhone or the possibility of a Verizon-branded iPhone. However, de la Vega did say that AT&T will continue with its current business model of subsidizing the iPhone.
On par with Verizon’s entry into the netbook space and on the heels of AT&Ts introducing netbooks at locations nationwide, de la Vega said AT&T is very excited about the new market. He said netbooks are a nascent market that’s really going to take off in the near future.