nationwide data network
At the time of its announcement, the Bell Atlantic - GTE transaction was valued in more than fifty two billion us dollars. It was supposed to join the Bell Atlantic's sophisticated network, serving its dense, data-intensive customer base in thirteen states from Maine to Virginia, with GTE's national footprint, advanced data communications capabilities and long-distance expertise. The aim was to create a combined company that would be able to provide long-distance and data services nationwide as part of a full package of other communications services as well as to compete as one of the telecommunications industry's most respected and leading companies.
Following reviews and approvals by the Bell Atlantic and GTE shareowners, twenty seven state regulatory commissions, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and various international agencies, the merge was closed two years later
At the same time, in September 1999, the London-based Vodafone AirTouch Plc (now Vodafone Group Plc) and Bell Atlantic announced their agreement to create a new wireless business. It was designed to have a national footprint, a single brand and a common digital technology and to be constituted of the Bell Atlantic's and Vodafone's U.S. wireless assets (Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging).
Six months later this wireless joint venture obtained a regulatory approval and in April 2000, the new "Verizon" brand was launched. The following day the joint venture began providing nationwide wireless voice and data services as Verizon Wireless. Creating the nation's largest wireless company, GTE's wireless operations became a part of Verizon Wireless. Three months later the Bell Atlantic - GTE merge closed and Verizon became the majority owner (55 percent) of Verizon Wireless.
In mid-2000, Verizon Communications began operations and the leaders of GTE and Bell Atlantic shared management responsibility for the company. Former Bell Atlantic CEO Ivan Seidenberg became the Verizon's founding President and co-CEO, at the same time, Former GTE Chairman and CEO Charles R. "Chuck" Lee became the Verizon's founding Chairman of the Board and co-CEO (Lee retired from Verizon in 2002).
Today, Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless network and serves over forty seven million voice and data customers, operates approximately one hundred and sixty four switching facilities and more than twenty three thousand cell sites. The Verizon Wireless provider is committed to delivering the best nationwide wireless voice and data products and services - online, over the phone and in-person - on the most reliable nationwide data network. In order to improve its nationwide wireless voice and data services the company invests more than four billion US dollars annually.
Offering an outstanding nationwide wireless voice service, Verizon Wireless is also striving to help the community through its community service programs, such as the HopeLine program, the E-rate program. The company is a corporate participant in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) program as well.