– Shares of our parent company, Verizon Communications, slipping in the session, down about 8/10 of a percent, continuing its decline that we saw yesterday on the back of the company’s earnings report. The wireless subscriber growth falling below analysts’ expectations, certainly a disappointment for investors. But that was overshadowed a bit by a massive outage that we saw early on in the morning on the East Coast, which caused major disruptions with so many working from home.
Let’s bring in Tami Erwin. She is the CEO of Verizon Business. Tami, it’s great to talk to you today. I wonder if we can start with those disruptions. So many of us experienced that yesterday, because so much of our lives is now online. Certainly not– Verizon not the only company that was affected. We also saw Google, Zoom, YouTube, Slack, and then Amazon Web Services. What more have we learned? Can you give us any more insight on what specifically played out?
TAMI ERWIN: Yeah. I think we saw two very unique things in the Northeast yesterday. We saw a broad internet issue that degraded services for about an hour in the Northeast. Focus was on restoration. The teams are working collectively across the board to now get underneath the root cause on that. In parallel, we also had a cable, a Fios cut by a tree that fell on a cable, so two things that ran in parallel. Our focus is always restoration, because we understand the importance of how much people rely on that internet connection. And then we’ll work the root cause, to make sure that we avoid that in future.
ZACK GUZMAN: Tami, can I get an update too? What we got in the earnings report here was kind of this continued push for Verizon‘s efforts in the 5G space. I know you, in terms of the business side here, has been looking– have been looking at companies out there and what they plan to do to leverage that 5G rollout. What have you heard from people who are looking forward to that to maybe, uh, I guess boost their recovery that we’ve seen play out here in 2021? What’s catching your eye?
TAMI ERWIN: Yeah, Zack, thank you. It’s a really exciting time for businesses, as they look at how do they react, and respond, and recover, and reimagine their businesses in a 2021 time period, coming out of COVID, facing some of the economic challenges that businesses see? 5G is going to play a very important role in terms of how they reimagine and deliver solutions, operational efficiency, and new revenues.
You know, we just completed a study that we did that was really an important study. Morning Consult worked with us. We talked to 700 key decision makers in businesses, and 79% said 5G is part of their recovery plan. 50% of users said they expect to put 5G devices in the hands of their users, because they understand the power of that expansion. And they view that as a key differentiator in terms of their recovery plans. I think Verizon is very well-positioned. We led the world in our 5G launch of mobility, 5G fixed wireless access, and then of course for business customers 5G mobile edge compute, landing 10 locations with AWS last year, and then private mobile edge compute with Microsoft and Azure. So really powerful solutions that put the control in the hands of businesses as they rebuild and recover from COVID with technology at the core of what they do.
– Tami, let’s talk about what we saw in your wireless business, because I think that’s what sort of prompted– the– the slide that we saw in the stock yesterday. You did add that 3,000 subscribers. But that was well below what Wall Street was expecting. Today we’re looking at AT&T. Their numbers, significantly higher than expectations. How much of their growth has come at the expense of Verizon? And how much are these promotions coming from AT&T as well as T-Mobile are creating a dent in your business there?
TAMI ERWIN: Yeah. When I look at the momentum in our B2B practice and our B2B business, I’m really excited about the growth that we’ve experienced and continue to see. We lead across each one of the segments that we serve. You might recall a year and a half ago when we set– reset Verizon in a Verizon 2.0 model to serve small business customers, global enterprise customers, public sector customers. We did that with the expectation that we could serve them with end-to-end solutions. And that ability to do that has enabled us to deliver strong growth in B2B throughout 2020. And we’re very well-positioned in 2021.
You know, it’s– COVID has impacted businesses very differently. In small businesses, we know they’ve seen the most direct impact as a result of COVID. And so how we show up with not just core connectivity, but security, and advance communications capability, video and collaboration has been very important. How we support them in their recovery has been important. And then when you look at the public sector, this is a segment that we’ve worked very closely with, and seen good growth, and expect continued growth is how do we reimagine education, something we’re all trying to learn to live with. We played a core role there.
And then in global enterprise, there are a lot of enterprises that are reimagining how they put the power of 5G in the hands of– of their employees, and really transform the work environment, as we reimagine the enterprise of the future. And we are well-positioned to continue to deliver strong growth in our overall wireless portfolio, continuing to take share as an industry leader in the segments we serve today.
ZACK GUZMAN: Well, some pretty lofty infrastructure goals planned ahead in the incoming administration here. Interesting to see how 5G might play a role in that, not just for Verizon, but all the other networks as well. But Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, appreciate you coming on here to chat with us today.
TAMI ERWIN: Thanks so much. Be well.