Verizon selling Xbox consoles: 5G ‘Innovation’ Example

Verizon has stocked the PlayStation 5 on its online store, and today, it announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see Verizon offer both the Xbox Series X and Series S through the All Access monthly financing program.

The carrier dives even deeper into gaming with the new Microsoft partnership. Both will be available starting July 28th, and Verizon offers deals like 50 percent off an Xbox Elite 2 controller to sweeten the strange notion of buying an Xbox subscription from your phone company.

To it, none of this is strange at all. If you’ll mostly be playing from the couch, the company says its home internet offerings — Fios and 5G Home — are the perfect solution for multiplayer gaming. And if you want to take advantage of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and pick up the action on your phone or tablet, it is happy to sell you on its 5G mobile data plans and promote the lower latency and faster speeds they provide. Verizon also sells various accessories and gamepads (including those attached to your phone).

It’s a sensible move, but Verizon’s press release goes just a little too far by proclaiming, “today’s announcement that we’re joining forces with Microsoft. It builds on Verizon’s promise of 5G growth and innovation across multiple platforms, including mobility, nationwide broadband, and the most popular consumer offerings.” I’m not sure signing people up for a financing program is consequential for the progression of 5G.

Plenty of retailers sell Xbox All Access, and like many of them, it uses Affirm to handle the monthly payments, which start at $24.99 a month for 24 months. So there’s nothing different here, nor is All Access integrated with your monthly bill. Maybe that’s a good thing since carriers keep finding ways to increase those as is. Xbox Series X / S consoles will be available online and in “select” Verizon retail locations on July 28th.

Verizon is an American operator providing a wireless network that previously operated as a respective unit of Verizon Communications under Verizon Wireless. In a 2019 reorganization, Verizon pushed the wireless products and services into Verizon Consumer and Verizon Business divisions and quit using the Verizon Wireless name. Verizon is the most extensive wireless carrier in the United States, with 142.8M subscribers at the end of Q4 2021.

The company is stationed in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. It was established in 2000 as a joint venture of American telecommunications firm Bell Atlantic, which would soon evolve into Verizon Communications and British multinational telecommunications enterprise Vodafone. Verizon Communications became the sole proprietor in 2014 after buying Vodafone’s 45-percent stake in the company.

It works as a national 4G LTE network covering nearly 99 percent of the U.S. population. Won or tied for top accolades has each type of the RootMetrics RootScore Reports in the second half of 2020. Verizon Wireless provides mobile phone services through a variety of devices. For example, Its LTE in Rural America Program, with 21 rural wireless carriers experiencing, covers 2.7 M conceivable users in 169 rural counties. In addition, Verizon Wireless announced in 2015 that it was developing a 5G, or fifth-generation, network.

American phone enterprise Bell Atlantic and British-based Vodafone Airtouch PLC suggested they would complete a new wireless phone service joint venture treasured at $70 billion. The joint venture was being designed as Bell Atlantic underwent a merger with GTE Corporation. In April 2000, the companies announced that the Bell Atlantic–GTE merger would take the name Verizon and that the Bell Atlantic–Vodafone wireless unit would be called Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Communications owned 55 percent of Verizon Wireless, while Vodafone retained 45 percent ownership. Regulators with the Federal Communications Commission authorized the Bell Atlantic–GTE merger on June 16, 2000, creating the largest wireless company in the United States. Verizon Wireless held this market position until Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless Services in 2004.

Majority owner Verizon Communications became the sole owner of its wireless business in 2014 when it bought Vodafone’s 45 percent stake. Vodafone received $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in stock, and $11 billion in other considerations. An article in The New York Times estimated Verizon Wireless’ valuation at about $290 billion.

In late 2014, it became known that Verizon Wireless uses deep packet inspection for server-side insertion of a customer-unique I.D. field into all unencrypted HTTP headers. The mechanism has been referred to as a “supercookie” or “perma-cookie.” However, it is technically not a cookie in that it does not hold information on the customer’s device and is transparent to the user.

In August 2016, it hired Ronan Dunne, the former head of British provider O2, as the new president of its wireless business. In addition, in September 2016, Comcast confirmed that it planned to launch a mobile service using Verizon’s network as an MVNO in mid-2017.

In February 2017, in the wake of competition from Sprint and T-Mobile and initiatives to expand the capacity and improve the quality of its network by using macrocells and supporting carrier aggregation, it announced that it would bring back an “unlimited” data plan. In addition, Verizon’s decision not to restrict the bitrate of video services prompted Sprint and T-Mobile to remove similar restrictions from their goals.

Verizon Family Locator is a subscription-based service and app that can track family members’ locations on a map for up to 10 devices. In addition, Verizon Family Base allows parents to restrict when and how their children use their phones, view their children’s contacts, and lock the devices. It also offers the GizmoPal, a wristband-worn phone for children restricted to only placing or receiving calls from one of two designated caregivers, and GPS tracking.

Other Verizon Wireless apps include Field Force Manager, which allows employers to manage employees with GPS, management timesheets, and oversees travel, Visual Voice Mail, and Roadside Assistance.