Verizon hones its focus

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After the wholesale collapse of the dot-coms, technology evangelists placed their bets on the wireless world-wireless voice, data, text messaging and the wireless Web. Wireless services are viewed as the antidote to telecoms' slow-growing voice businesses and key to building new revenue streams.

But the wireless category faces formidable challenges, most notably consumer confusion over brands, the legacy of mergers that have gobbled regional wireless players. Frequently changing service plans, monthly rates, bundled offers and upgrades are equally confusing to consumers who are often quite fickle. Wireless marketers are continually challenged to dangle offers that match shifting consumer usage and behavior.

The U.S. lags behind Europe and Japan in wireless usage, in part due to competing wireless technology standards and infrastructure. The tech recession has spilled over to the wireless sector, and skittish investors aren't quite as willing to fund network upgrades and hefty marketing budgets.

So where do things stand with wireless providers? Advertising Age, in a three-part series, takes a look, focusing on the changing face of wireless brands. First up: Verizon Wireless.

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