Verizon Communications has undergone major transformations since it was formed as Bell Atlantic in the 1984 AT&T breakup.

This detailed timeline outlines key events in Verizon's history, split into three eras: Early History before 2000, a period of Growth & Expansion from 2000-2010, and Recent History from 2011 to today.


Verizon telephone wires
© History Oasis

1983: Baby Bell

Bell Atlantic formed as one of seven "Baby Bell" regional phone companies after the breakup of AT&T's monopoly per a 1982 DOJ settlement.

Consisted of assets in NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, WV previously under AT&T's Bell System.

Became an independent public company trading on NYSE.

1984: Telecom Giant

Bell Atlantic begins operations focusing on local and regional phone service, business networks.

Replaces AT&T as the main telecom provider in its eastern US footprint.

1996: Expansion

Bell Atlantic decides to expand into new major markets.

Agrees to merge with NYNEX, another Baby Bell with service in NYC, New England.

$25 billion deal closed in mid-1996.

1997: Verizon Communications

Merger integration completed between Bell Atlantic and NYNEX assets.

Combined company officially renamed Verizon Communications.

Positions Verizon for future growth beyond its original Baby Bell region.

GROWTH & EXPANSION (2000-2010)

a vintage Verizon phone
© History Oasis

2000: GTE

Bell Atlantic merged with GTE in one of the largest telecom deals ever at the time, valued at $52 billion.

The combined company was rebranded as Verizon Communications.

This gave Verizon enhanced national reach beyond just the eastern US.

2000: Verizon Wireless

Verizon formed a wireless joint venture with Vodafone called Verizon Wireless.

The deal combined assets to create a national cellular network.

2002: 3G

Verizon launched a 3G wireless data network, increasing speeds and capabilities.

They also started bundling phone, internet, and TV services.

2005: MCI

Verizon acquired MCI, a long-distance and business services provider.

Expanded their enterprise offerings.

2006: FiOS

Verizon began rolling out its FiOS fiber-to-the-home internet and TV service, offering enhanced speeds and video quality.

2008: Rural Expansion

Acquisitions expanded Verizon's wireless coverage into many rural areas.


Verizon Fios
© History Oasis

2011: Terremark

Verizon acquired Terremark, a cloud and managed IT services provider.

This expanded their capabilities in cloud computing and technology services.

2014: Vodafone

Verizon acquired Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, giving them full ownership of their wireless business.

2015: AOL

Acquisition of AOL focused on bolstering their digital media and advertising capabilities.

2016: Yahoo

Yahoo acquisition accelerated their content and digital media strategy.

Combined AOL and Yahoo properties into a new Oath division.

2018: 5G

Hans Vestberg took over as Verizon CEO.

He refocused efforts around building their next-gen 5G network.

2021: Connectivity Refocus

Verizon sold off the Oath/Verizon Media Group to Apollo Global Management.

They spun off the division to sharpen focus on connectivity.