POWER PLAY: Verizon Wireless has been lauded as one of the best carriers in the business, and the marketing spearheaded by Mr. Stratten, 43, echoes exactly that positioning with its "Can you hear me now?" campaign that puts the Verizon man to work wherever cell phone users are. Proof of its success: Verizon has one of the lowest churn rates in the business, while its acquisition rate is one of the best, adding more than 1 million net subscribers for five straight quarters.
DOWNSIDE: Verizon hasn't been as aggressive as its rivals on the data services side of the business. However, it recently announced plans for a major push in mobile broadband service, taking on Nextel and Sprint. As the perennial wireless price wars ensue, Verizon may feel some heat simply because the cost of quality isn't cheap. Rivaling its rate of acquiring new customers is low-cost competitor T-Mobile USA.