Voice is dead, says Verizon CEO

Thanks to Dave Burstein, who runs the excellent DSL Prime newsletter, for capturing this:

Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon CEO, saying at the Goldman Sachs Investment Conference last month that "voice is dying" is a defining moment in telecom history.

He didn't use those words, but his comments are clear "we have to pivot and make a shift from the voice business to the data business and eventually to the video business. ... we must really position ourselves to be an extremely potent video-centric asset."

"The issue there is perhaps it is like the dog chasing the bus a little bit. So what I need to do is get ourselves focused around the following idea, that video is going to be the core product in the fixed line business. ... I shed myself of the burden of chasing the inflection point in access lines and say I don't care about that anymore."

Verizon remains one of the most profitable companies in the world, but the wireline business is heading downhill so fast JPMorgan writes "Action will likely be necessary to support the dividend beginning in 2012." They won't be able to support $5B/year in dividends without tapping wireless 45% owned by Vodafone. [Some analysts] think Verizon will buy a satellite TV company. Knocking out one of the four TV providers is unthinkable if the Obama team is serious about competition, but that's not proven...

You can meet Dave, who has lots more great insider information, at the 8th Telco 2.0 Exec Brainstorm, on 9-10 December in Orlando.