Frontier: Partners to Benefit From Verizon Wireline Acquisition

Frontier Communications says its partners will gain financially from its proposed $10.54 billion acquisition of Verizon’s wireline operations that provide services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in California, Florida and Texas.

Frontier's Chris GellosThe FCC approved the proposed acquisition in September. Frontier expects to close the transaction, which will double its size, at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Chris Gellos, Frontier’s vice president of commercial channel sales and marketing, tells Channel Partners that the properties are a “great fit for Frontier and will expand our service operating regions significantly.”

“The initial response from partners has been exciting, agents have seen firsthand throughout the past two years that Frontier has invested heavily in the channel and demonstrated a strong commitment to serving customers and agents together,” he said. “This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for agents.”

The larger service footprint not only will “bring additional partners to our channel, it will also expand our current partners’ selling opportunities in existing markets,” Gellos said. Frontier offers broadband, voice, video, wireless Internet data access, data security services, bundled offerings, specialized bundles for residential customers, small businesses and home offices, and advanced communications for medium and large businesses in 28 states.

Zipwhip, a Seattle-based cloud texting carrier, is one of Frontier’s partners. John Larson, its chief marketing officer, said his company is “excited about the opportunity that will come with the expansion of its business upon the completion of the transaction with Verizon.”

“Since Frontier Texting is powered by Zipwhip, we see a great opportunity to expand the use of the service, particularly since an increasing amount of consumer-to-business connections are occurring over the text messaging channel on existing landlines,” he said. “With texting now the preferred form of communication for many consumers, alignment with Frontier as a channel partner is very strategic to Zipwhip.”

In 2014, Frontier launched a new channel program that integrated the direct sales team with agents and allowed agents to work directly with more than 400 commercial salespeople and Frontier’s support resources throughout its operating regions, Gellos said.

“The key for us has been to provide the agent that is doing the selling with the ultimate flexibility to decide what is best for their customer,” Gellos said. “If that means starting out by qualifying an opportunity through the portal and then transitioning midway through the process to working with our local sales team and still placing the order through their favorite master agent, that’s fine. Regardless of which path they choose, all of the resources of Frontier are made available to the agent and their customer.”

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