Verizon’s Schijns Opens Up About Integration as XO Purchase Closes

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in November-December 2016.**

Verizon has completed its $1.8 billion purchase of XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business.

Verizon's Janet SchijnsVerizon says the purchase and integration of XO’s fiber network will help the carrier extend its suite of network services to its enterprise and wholesale customers. In addition, it will help the company in its plans to densify its cellular network, and to deploy new 5G technologies.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the deal in November.

Janet Schijns, vice president of channel sales for Verizon Business Markets, tells Channel Partners now that the deal is closed, “we’ll have conversations with partners.”

“In fact, we’re already forming steering committees with partner volunteers,” she said. “We want to work closely with them to ingest their feedback and learn what works for our customers and our partners. New plan details will be announced later this year.”{ad}

XO initially will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, Schijns said. Both companies will align to a “business as usual” approach, she said.

“We will keep our partners updated as the integration progress(es),” she said. “Ultimately, our combined networks will create broader reach, drive acceleration of new technology development, and expand product portfolios for our channel partners. The idea is to leverage the best of both channel programs and create one program for our partners.”

Integration of all XO operations and facilities is expected to start immediately. Verizon anticipates the transaction will deliver more than $1.5 billion in operating and expense savings in net present value.

“This transaction with XO will bring significant benefits in how we deliver superior services to our customers,” said John Stratton, Verizon’s executive vice president and president of operations. “XO’s fiber network will add ever greater capacity and reach to Verizon’s networks, a combination that will lead to enhanced capabilities, better services and faster rollout of next-generation communication networks.”

In addition to the fiber transaction, Verizon has entered into an agreement to lease certain wireless spectrum from former XO affiliate NextLink Wireless. Verizon has an option, exercisable under certain circumstances, to buy NextLink.

“We have always been committed to providing our channel partners with great technology to sell and great tools to help them serve customers,” Schijns said. “Adding XO fits that strategy and allows us to continue to make it easier to do business with us, provide more leads, improve our systems and enhance our program benefits.”

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