Verizon says 39% of its subscribers are 'borderless'

An online survey conducted in September by Harris Interactive for Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has revealed that 39 percent of Verizon's subscribers are "borderless consumers" who use several devices and are increasingly wed to Internet connectivity, a Verizon exec revealed Wednesday at TelcoTV 2012 in Las Vegas.

The survey questioned 2,292 adults, all of whom owned a laptop or desktop, smartphone or tablet, "usually" have a device with Internet on hand, are "motivated to make technology and connectivity upgrades" and are "interested in the benefits of a connected home," the carrier said.

The survey was commissioned to help Verizon go beyond customer service to "turn customer satisfaction into loyalty" in an environment where delivering a triple play of voice, video, data--and additionally wireless--services is not enough, said Robert Mudge, president of Verizon's consumer and mass business.

Among the issues the survey revealed--aside from the fact that women "are more connected than men" by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin--is the need for an easy way to mine what content exists across a myriad of devices and platforms, Mudge said.

"This issue of simple discovery is really paramount," he said. "The issue of content discovery is far more essential than we ever thought of."

Survey results generally skewed in expected ways. Generation X members were more likely to consider themselves as borderless, with 47 percent conceding that nomenclature, followed by Millenials (46 percent), baby boomers (40 percent) and matures (28 percent). Also, 48 percent of borderless consumers make $75,000 or more per year and 51 percent are college graduates.

The borderless consumers, while interested in carrying their Internet with them outside the home, are also interested in what happens in the home, with 90 percent believing "all electronics in the house should be connected to each other," the survey revealed.

That means, said Mudge, "We have to do more beyond build high-speed networks and make our networks smarter." This, he said, includes pushing network intelligence deeper into the home to drive new services such as home monitoring where "usage is just unbelievable," he added.

At the same time, Mudge said, carriers like Verizon must be careful to slow any disruptive changes they introduce into that home environment and should create a simpler architecture. To that end, he said, Verizon is working with Motorola Mobility and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) on next-generation set-top boxes and routers.

He also called out the company's joint venture with cable operators as a way to "increase our scale beyond the FiOS footprint" even as revenue is "bumping up about 15 percent a year" for the FiOS triple play.

Everything, including the survey, is part of an overall plan to work "across the boundaries of technology" to "earn and preserve customer trust," he concluded.

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