Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg shed some light on the company’s LTE trial with satellite broadcaster DirecTV at an investor conference yesterday.
Speaking at the Citi annual entertainment, media and telecommunications conference in Phoenix, Ariz., Seidenberg said the trials were progressing well in the Midwest, upper Northeast markets and Pennsylvania, but the system needed to be hardened. He did not say how the company would expand the trials, if at all.
“Customers are liking it a lot,” he said of the trials, which equip homes with a DirecTV satellite dish and an antenna for Verizon’s LTE network. Customers get access to Verizon’s LTE services over a wireless router in their homes.
“It has the dimension of making our wireless service a little more sticky, a little more pervasive,” Seidenberg said.
Seidenberg also discussed tiered data plans and the company’s relationship with Vodafone, which owns a 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.
He said that the company was taking a broad view of tiered rate plans, such as charging by data consumption, speed and different rates for off-peak usage. “You have to offer the market something new,” he said. “The market will look at 4G differently if we present it differently.”
Seidenberg also said Verizon would like to purchase the stake of the company currently owned by Vodafone, but disagreements about how much the stake is worth have prevented it from doing so.
“Let’s look at the facts. If we could buy the other 45 percent, we would do it in a nanosecond,” he said. “There’s a huge gap in valuation between what they think it’s worth and what we think it’s worth. There’s no reason for us to overpay.”