05.22.2001Corporate

Verizon Wireless Discounts Hands-Free Headsets To Encourage Safe Use Of Wireless Phones While Driving


Verizon Wireless Discounts Hands-Free Headsets To Encourage Safe Use Of Wireless Phones While Driving

California Wireless Users Receive a 25 Percent Discount on All Hands-Free Devices During Wireless Safety Week, May 21-28

May 22, 2001

IRVINE, CA

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To help celebrate Wireless Safety Week, May 21 - 28, and promote responsible driving on California freeways and streets, Verizon Wireless is offering state residents a 25 percent discount on all of the company's universal hands-free headsets.

"One of our highest priorities, as the nation's largest wireless service provider, is to put our strength behind enhancing the availability, affordability and awareness of hands-free technologies to help drivers be responsible behind the wheel," said Verizon Wireless Southern California Region President Mike Finley. "We feel that cell phone customers' attentiveness to driving can be improved by using their wireless service in conjunction with convenient hands-free technologies, such as headsets, earpieces, and voice-activated dialing systems."

U.S. sales of hands-free cellular phone gadgetry have more than doubled in the last year, according to new figures from NPD Intelect Market Tracking, as states and municipalities consider laws against talking on handheld mobile phones while driving. The study reports that U.S. retail sales of headsets rose 123% from March 2000 to March 2001.

Verizon Wireless took an industry-leading position earlier last year by announcing a series of initiatives to make using wireless phones in the car easier and ultimately safer. These initiatives are aimed at increasing the development, affordability and awareness of hands-free technologies.

Building on those initiatives, the company today kicked off a one-week promotion on all its universal headsets for hands-free talking. Throughout California, the company is offering six universal headsets, starting under $12, which work with most manufacturers' phones.

"Verizon Wireless Communications retail stores feature a special section dedicated to safety accessories and education, and our representatives can demonstrate the latest hands-free technologies, such as headsets, earpieces, and voice-activated systems, which make hands-free wireless calling available and affordable, for everyone," said Verizon Wireless Northern California Region President Ralph Martinez.


About Verizon Wireless

As the U.S. wireless industry leader, Verizon Wireless has made the responsible use of in-vehicle wireless phones a top priority for the company and its customers. Verizon Wireless believes that its customers' attentiveness to driving can be improved by using wireless service with convenient hands-free technologies, such as headsets, earpieces and voice-activated systems.

The company's mission is to put its strength behind enhancing the availability, affordability, and awareness of hands-free technologies. This effort includes spearheading hands-free educational programs among drivers and wireless users of all ages; mandating handset manufacturers to ensure hands-free, voice-activated compatibility for their handsets by 2002 or risk losing Verizon Wireless' business; selling earpieces and headsets at low prices to encourage their use; and, when appropriate, supporting statewide legislation that requires drivers to use hands-free devices when conducting in-vehicle calls.

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.