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Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, owns and operates the second-largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States. As of January 2006, the company served a total of 51.3 million customers. more...
The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, with 55 and 45 percent ownership respectively.
Verizon Wireless traces its roots to Bell Atlantic Mobile, NYNEX Mobile Communications, AirTouch Communications, PrimeCo Communications, and GTE Wireless. Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile Communications merged in 1995, as did their namesake Baby Bell parents, to create Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile, which was renamed to Bell Atlantic Mobile in 1997. Meanwhile, in June 1999, AirTouch Communications of San Francisco, California merged with U.K.-based Vodafone Group Plc, forming Vodafone AirTouch Plc. In September 1999, Vodafone AirTouch announced a $70-billion joint venture with Bell Atlantic Corp. to be called Verizon Wireless, and which would be comprised of the two companies' U.S. wireless assets: Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Communications, and AirTouch Paging. This wireless joint venture received regulatory approval in six months, and began operations as Verizon Wireless on April 4, 2000. On June 30, 2000, the addition of GTE Wireless' assets, in connection with the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE to form Verizon Communications, made Verizon Wireless the nation's largest wireless communications provider (until Cingular's acquisition of AT&T Wireless in 2004). For the joint venture, Verizon Communications owns 55% and UK-based Vodafone Group (formerly Vodafone AirTouch) owns 45% 1.
The faux word "Verizon" is derived by combining the word "veritas," a Latin term that means "truth," and the word "horizon." Together, they are supposed to conjure images of reliability, certainty, leadership, and limitless possibilities.
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