Verizon Wireless head looks to AI for transformation - Mobile World Live

Verizon Wireless head looks to AI for transformation

09 AUG 2017

Ronan Dunne (pictured) is targeting transformation at Verizon Wireless, outlining a vision which will see the US operator broaden its traditional offering by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and transition into an “information company”.

Verizon Wireless’ EVP and president, speaking at the Oppenheimer 20th Annual Technology, Internet and Communications Conference in Boston, said while demand for mobile solutions “continues to grow substantially”, the task was now “looking at how to optimise the monetisation” of the demand.

In a presentation revealing his long-term vision for leading the unit, Dunne, who joined Verizon in September 2016 shortly after leaving his role as CEO of O2 UK, said the company’s core lay in having “incredible strength in engineering and infrastructure”, and it would continue to deliver “superior connectivity”.

However, the operator is equally well placed to build on its “amazing infrastructure” by broadening its offering to provide more segmented solutions in the B2B and B2C segments.

“If I look at the consumer sector, people don’t really buy technology, they buy the possibilities that technology gives them,” he said, adding: “What we want to do is use that superior connectivity, and build experiences on top of that.”

As evidence of its widening focus, Verizon moved to beef up its media and content offerings with high profile acquisitions of AOL and, more recently, Yahoo.

However, Dunne used the presentation to focus more on the company’s recently relaunched loyalty rewards programme.

He said the programme, which provides customers with access to different benefits and offers, is a specific example of where Verizon Wireless can use the information it holds about its customers to deliver more targeted offerings which “are pertinent to them”.

“This ties up the idea that a carrier, if it’s done right, becomes an information company and a partner to their customers,” he explained.

To drive the transition internally, Dunne said machine learning, AI and natural learning capabilities enabled the company “to do a double whammy” by improving customer experience while cutting “the cost to serve them”.

Quad-play opportunity
During the presentation, Dunne also suggested the company would not look to offer a bundled offering going forward. He cited the launch of a quad-play service by Telefonica in Spain as an example of a service driven by “market factors”. 

“Customers identify that in competitive markets – such as the US – if you have real choice in the individual products, the cost of bundling is taking the second best wireless product with the third best pay TV product to get the cheapest broadband offer,” he said.

“Our focus is on being the preeminent wireless carrier in the market and that is a very strong play.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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