Innovation and Leadership

Innovation And Leadership

With Ronan Dunne - Executive Vice President and Group CEO, Verizon Consumer
Oct 11, 2021
We recently had the privilege of speaking with Executive Vice President and Group CEO of Verizon Consumer, Ronan Dunne. In this exclusive interview, Ronan provides key insights into how 5G is transforming our lives, and the impact it has had on Verizon.

How is 5G transforming Verizon / our lives?

Ronan Dunne: Whenever a new generation of technology comes out, we’re always prone to saying, “So what’s the new – new?” 5G has significantly enhanced existing capabilities, including:

- The use of mobile edge computing: the ability to push a computer off an individual device and to be on the edge of the network and rely on the low latency of the 5G network – means that industrial robots, which usually cost around 100 000 dollars, can now be built for 25 000 dollars as there is less hardware which needs to be inserted.

- The ability of the 5G network to support 10 times as many connected devices are actually the reality of AR / VR reality. Instead of a headset that typically requires you to be wired to it, we’re talking about a clip on the side of your designer sunglasses, which is giving you an augmented reality capability, and practically speaking we’re about 12-18 months away from those products being commercially available.

- Across all of these considerations, there is much to be excited about with 5G aiding a lot of what we dreamt of real in a short period.

Is 5G currently available globally or only in the US?

Ronan Dunne: In all fairness, mobile edge computing is very much in its infancy in relation to 5G. 5G capability is being deployed across all the world currently. It is mostly deployed in the mid-band regions, where a capacity of 3.5 gigahertz can be the sweet spot.

 In the UK, you can already enjoy 5G on your handset. There is massive capacity, for example, a download speed of 10Gigs, not 10 megs on a mobile device. This is coming out everywhere, however requires some of the standards to be upgraded and “SA standalone core” to be uploaded to the 5G networks.

We’re talking about a 12-18 month cycle to deliver commercial-grade capabilities in the US and maybe 18 months behind that in Europe.

As the current market leader, how does Verizon stay ahead and lead its market share?

Ronan Dunne: The trick as a leader is not to do what is expected and to do the unexpected. Essentially divorce the industry and rewrite the rules of the game. My big passion is that actually, we’re not in the technology business at all. In my experience most consumers don’t buy tech, they buy the experience that tech enables.

I see us as an experienced company. So my focus over the last few years has been turning the network in the service of the experience and outcomes. Rather than perhaps how Verizon was previously seen, as an engineering-led and network organisation.

This has allowed us to evolve to the situation now, where much of what we do is around quality, choice, and experience. We partner with Disney, Apple Music, Google, etc. to create a platform that allows the most creative people across a wide range of industries to have access to the best tech that creates outcomes for customers. We have a well-executed platform strategy.

What tips do you have as to how entrepreneurs could differentiate themselves?

Ronan Dunne: At Verizon, we’re actually a service company, a subscriptions business, not a product. Typically, many think of us as a product business but the product is actually an Apple or a Samsung handset or device. The service is the ability to use that to do multiple things.  Depending on whether you’re in a product or service organisation, will determine the approach you need to take.

Within a service organisation, two things I would say is:

1. The service industry isn’t a homogeneous market – we focus on detail segmentation – we use segmentation as an acquisition tool. On the other hand, there’s value-based marketing, which is used as a retention tool.

Once a customer joins Verizon, we build a profile of that customer, based on their engagement with us and the services we offer. So we then attribute that to build a capability, meaning that with every touchpoint that customer has with us, whether it’s the network itself or a retail store or elsewhere, we show up how the customer expects.  We use that rich insight, to know and recognise our customers.

That’s really the key, to deliver personalised service and experience.

2. We want to ensure that we go from the synergy of scale to the beauty of a personal relationship. We are the largest telecommunications company on the planet; we have 100 million consumers every day and 130 million customers overall between consumer and business. But every one of them is an individual and our ability to personalise is an essential ingredient as to how we differentiate.

I think in any business, whether it’s service or product if you at least have that mindset you will be focused on what the customer truly values, not what you believe is important.

To discover more about this insightful interview, watch the full episode here:

We are pleased to share that Ronan Dunne will be joining us as a speaker at our upcoming Global Expansion Conference 2022. He will be presenting on the pressing topic of “Future Leaders: Nurturing the next generation of sustainable leaders”. 

His speech will aim to answer critical questions such as: 

  • How should leaders change to meet the demands of a new world of work, one in which companies are borderless? 

  • Emerging markets demand increasingly experienced talent; how do you manage them? 

This is a session ALL leaders should aim to be a part of. Register for a ticket NOW! 

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