Verizon Wireless Launches Digital Service In Duluth, Minnesota

Verizon Wireless Launches Digital Service In Duluth, Minnesota

New Services Include Mobile Web Wireless Internet Access

March 12, 2001



After investing nearly $4 million in the local wireless network, Verizon Wireless today announced the launch of digital wireless service in the Duluth area of Minnesota. The availability of digital service offers consumers and business customers a long list of benefits including Caller ID, text messaging, superior voice quality, longer battery life and enhanced privacy and security.

Customers in northern Minnesota can also signup for Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web™, which provides easy-to-use wireless access to the Internet and the option to customize the information delivered to web-enabled digital handsets. A customer can access e-mail, stocks, news, weather, and horoscopes or find the nearest ATM, movie theatre or restaurant all from their Verizon Wireless phone.

"We are excited about delivering all the benefits of digital service to area residents, particularly wireless Internet access," said Rich Garwood, Midwest Region President of Verizon Wireless. "One example of the power of Mobile Web is the ability for customers to conduct comparison shopping to find the best price on items such as CD's, books or music by simply entering a product's bar code through their handset."

Now that both digital and analog service is available, Verizon Wireless customers with dual-mode (analog/digital) or tri-mode phones will be able to take advantage of digital service immediately. At the same time, analog customers will continue to enjoy their existing coverage and have the option to upgrade to a digital phone to enjoy the features and benefits of digital service.

The introduction of digital service in Duluth is part of the company's $4 billion investment to improve and expand its high quality coast-to-coast network, which covers 96 of the top 100 markets in the United States.

Northern Minnesota consumers will now have access to digital features at home and while traveling throughout the United States and can choose from Verizon Wireless' competitive twelve state SingleRateSM regional or 50-state SingleRate national calling plans.

Verizon Wireless' SingleRate regional and national plans eliminate uncertainty and guarantee that customers won't be surprised by unexpected roaming and long distance charges on their monthly bill. Traditionally, many wireless calling plans require customers to pay separate long-distance charges for incoming and outgoing calls outside the local area, and roaming charges when traveling outside the designated home area. To take advantage of the new SingleRate plans, customers must use a tri-mode phone.

"Residents and visitors of the Duluth area will now be able to enjoy clearer calls with less background noise and longer battery life with their phones," said Garwood. "Our digital coverage area includes Duluth and Superior, the Iron Range up to Chisholm and Virginia and the North Shore along Highway 61." Verizon Wireless has been serving the Duluth area since September of 1989 (originally as US WEST Cellular and then AirTouch).

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 27.5 million wireless voice and data customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 38,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.