New Verizon COO oversaw three years of surging wireless growth

Verizon is grooming McAdam to eventually take over as CEO when current Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg retires from the company.

Newly promoted Verizon COO Lowell McAdam had a short but productive tenure as head of Verizon's wireless business, which has added 25.5 million subscribers since 2007. Looking forward, Verizon is grooming McAdam to eventually take over as CEO when current Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg retires from the company.

Verizon's LTE roadmap for 2010 and beyond

McAdam served as Verizon Wireless COO since 2007 before taking over as CEO in January 2007, and he oversaw a three-year period of very strong growth buoyed by Verizon's 2008 merger with wireless carrier Alltel that netted Verizon roughly 14 million additional subscribers. By the end of 2009 Verizon reported having 91.2 million wireless subscribers an increase of around 39 per cent from the 65.7 million wireless subscribers that it had at the end of 2007.

The Alltel acquisition was a key move that helped Verizon leapfrog AT&T and become the carrier with the most wireless subscribers in the United States. At the end of the second quarter of 2010, Verizon had 92 million wireless subscribers, just edging out the 90 million wireless subscribers reported by AT&T at the end of 2Q 2010.

In addition to overseeing the Alltel merger, McAdam was also at the helm when Verizon successfully bid for a 22MHz chunk of spectrum on the 700MHz band, dubbed the "C Block" by the Federal Communications Commission, which the company is now using for its 4G LTE network. The company bid around $4.7 billion total for the rights to acquire its C-Block licenses, bidding $1.6 billion for the Mississippi Valley C-Block license and $1.1 billion for the C-Block license in the Great Lakes region. The 22MHz chunk of spectrum garnered significant attention last year when the FCC placed open-access rules on it mandating that future licensees would be prohibited from blocking or slowing Internet traffic from competing carriers using the network.

Verizon is on track to become the first wireless carrier in the United States offer 4G LTE services in the United States, and it plans to have its LTE network up and running in between 25 to 30 U.S. markets by the end of the year. Sprint is the only major wireless carrier in the United States to offer 4G wireless data services, as its WiMAX network will be available in every major U.S. market by the end of the year.

In its official announcement Monday, Verizon said that McAdam's promotion was "an important step in the succession process for when Seidenberg retires from the company." Seidenberg has been the CEO of Verizon ever since its official formation in the wake of the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger in 2000.

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Tags business issuesNetworkingat&tVerizon COO Lowell McAdamwirelessWiMAX & LTEVerizon Wirelesscorporate issuespersonnelWiMaxAlltel

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Brad Reed

Network World

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