Verizon Wireless CEO Says No to Mobile Phone Directory Assistance

Martin O'Donnell pointed out that Verizon Wireless CEO Denny Strigl told attendees at the Yankee Group's 2004 Wireless Leadership Summit that his company strongly opposes the mobile industry's directory assistance initiatives because they are more helpful to the mobile industry itself and to telemarketers than to the average customer. Wireless Week quotes Strigl as follows:

Customers view their cell phones as one place where they have control {over who has access to their phone number}. Why tear down the wall of privacy that is unique? We spent decades building that wall.

Many analysts have suggested that carriers that are in favor of mobile phone directory assistance are primarily interested in the additional revenue that would come from selling access to the information, or withholding numbers from the directory on an individual basis.

My wife and I have an unpublished landline. I am surprised at the number of calls we receive from companies that have obviously applied data mining techniques and cross-referencing to figure out what our phone number is in spite of our efforts. I expect the same sort of problems in the mobile space if mobile directory services are implemented by the major U.S. carriers. So, it is reasonable to conclude that I am against any new mobile directory services devised by the mobile phone industry.