Verizon Wireless is one of the major wireless telecommunications companies, if not the largest, in the United States with a strong desire to stay on top. Its main focus is to be the leaders of a digital world to improve the capabilities of technology so that individuals, business and society can do more. Verizon strives for diversity across all platforms and has a history of innovation. Written in bold letters on their website, Verizon aims to be a good corporate citizen by striving to make a positive impact while keeping a high standard for transparency and ethics as well as living by the words we do well by doing good (1).
The organization within Verizon that Ive been hired to evaluate is the newly formed Municipal Engagement team (ME Team) dedicated to the Pacific Northwest region. This team of 6 consists of skilled negotiators and project managers with a high level of people skills; each with a different area of expertise that lends itself well to a diverse team. This team is tasked with working directly with the municipalities of the Pacific Northwest with the overall goal of creating agreements for a better path forward for the deployment of wireless infrastructure. With over 100 cities and counties in the region, this team has its hands full.
The main issue that this team faces is the priority of those 100+ municipalities and which to focus on first. Every customer is important to Verizon Wireless however in terms of infrastructure growth and smart business practices, the organization focuses its network upgrades on areas that will improve the highest number of customers with the least amount of deployments or the areas with the heaviest strain on the current network.
The priority issue within the organization is very cyclical and deep-rooted with many factors needing to be considered; many of those factors directly contradicting the other. HQ has set a tiered zone priority system based on a population per square mile ratio; Tier 1, 2 and 3 with Tier 1 being the densest of areas. In theory and without considering other factors, this is a solid business model for this industry. The ME team has engaged the Tier 1 municipalities and most of the processes of those tier 1 municipalities are cumbersome and will be slow to change; since these dense municipalities affect a lot of individuals, every item is considered very carefully and deliberately. It is noted that Tier 1 zones will not happen in a timely manner. Senior management of the local office needs to strike a balance between meeting the expected numbers for the year and deploying in the targets areas HQ has established. The easy solution would be to work as many municipalities as possible however there is a budgetary constraint and while pursuing Tier 2 and 3 municipalities would satisfy the expected numbers, it would not leave sufficient budget to deploy in the Tier 1 zones (expected target) (Belovskiy, 3).
So why does Tier 1 matter so much? Verizon prides itself on being the best and being on the cutting edge. They believe that being first to market doesnt just mean being the first to deploy with a lackluster network; they believe it means first to deploy and having the robust network that their subscribers have come to expect. Tier 1 is where a significant portion of their subscribers live; it is where most data is utilized, and it is where the newest technology will have the biggest impact on the market. Verizon is first to market with 5G and currently working to launch 5G in over 20 major [Tier 1] cities in 2019 Countrywide. (Belovskiy, 3; Blumenthal, 4).