Earlier this week, Verizon Wireless employees got a bit of ominous news. The company has revealed big plans to simplify its operating structure as its growth rate slows. They'll be consolidating the 20 regions they now have down to just six, cutting an unspecified number of jobs along the way.
The sales and retail side of things won't be affected, according to the company, which begs the question just who will bear the brunt of the changes. The folks who arrange and run all the wireless backhaul networks would appear to be in for an uncertain winter, while the independent engineering firms out there might end up seeing more business being outsourced in their direction as one of the industry's 800lb gorillas tries to slim down. The patterns by which Verizon acquires fiber and circuits outside its own footprint may be shifting now as well.
Verizon has been shifting its footing toward content and advertising lately, as exemplified by the AOL purchase. And with the sale of yet more landline assets to Frontier, their physical asset base keeps on shrinking and becoming more fiber-oriented. But the wireless division is clearly their lifeblood now, and the shift they are now working through will be aimed at keeping things properly aligned with a rapidly shifting sector.
I'd be interested to hear what folks see on the ground as it all plays out. The company is said to be already starting to notify some of those affected, although it's unclear how many will be or how long the process will take.