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Verizon Wireless, along with other cell phone companies, outsources the majority of work they need done. This includes tower construction, site development, lease optimization, lease renewals and file or site audits. To become a qualified vendor for Verizon, your firm must present a corporate staff with wireless experience, a professional back office with the appropriate insurance in place, and a certified and licensed staff to handle equipment upgrades, building and zoning permitting, and lease negotiation. Verizon, along with all wireless carriers, only request bids from pre-qualified vendors and those with experience in the industry.
Verify insurance documentation is in place prior to qualifying with Verizon. Verizon asks that all contractors maintain minimum insurance coverage of $2 million general liability, $5 million in an excess policy and $2 million professional liability coverage, also known as an "errors and omissions" insurance policy. Verizon requires being named as additionally insured on your business policy and you must upload your certificates of insurance with this information to their supplier database and website.
Qualify as a minority, veteran or woman-owned business enterprise through a third party agency such as California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) WMBE Clearinghouse. You may become certified through other entities, but you must also be certified through the CPUC. To qualify under this designation, your firm must have a person considered a legal minority, veteran or woman who owns a minimum of 51 percent of the business. If your business is not a minority, veteran or woman-owned business, this step is not necessary to complete, but you must fill out the documentation and indicate it does not apply.
Secure your Dun and Bradstreet DUNS number by registering on the Dun and Bradstreet website. This number links to information on the financial standing of your firm.
Certify your staff for climbing towers and working on cell phone equipment or handling tower equipment repairs. If your company plans on providing lease renewal services, than you will need a qualified and licensed real estate broker of record. Any staff members responsible for lease negotiation must work under a licensed broker and have a real estate license issued from the state of California.
Register on Verizon's Supplier Portal website. Vendors must request a log-on to this secure site from Verizon. Fill out the multiple worksheets on the website, which includes providing company information, financial data from the last three years, date of incorporation, if applicable and primary company contact data. Include the company address and website information, Social Security number, worker's compensation OSHA reports, DUNS number, client references and more. Do not leave any fields blank as this could disqualify your business. If the question(s) do not apply, input "Not Applicable" in the appropriate field. This does not guarantee that your firm will be selected to respond to a request for proposals, but it does mean that your firm is now in a position to receive requests for bids.
Respond to any request for proposals or bids. Provide accurate bid numbers. Most wireless carriers pay structured payments based upon "milestones" completed and only pay time and materials for expense-related items. Expense items include structural analysis, engineering documents, radio frequency reports, environmental reports and documents, construction drawings, photo simulations, permit fees and the like. Milestones cover such items as landlord consent, lease renewal, zoning approval, building permit submission and approval, conditional use permits, feasibility, post- and pre-construction site walks.
It's a good idea to have experience in the industry as well as to be an established business entity. If you are just starting out but have extensive wireless experience, this may work in your favor. Ensure that all of your insurance, certifications and licensing is in place before attempting to register with Verizon. There are no exceptions to these requirements.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.