CHARLOTTE, NC — To address the ever increasing demand for wireless services in the Carolinas, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile officially opened its new, $5 million, 32,404-square-foot operations center and switching facility today at the University Research Park near UNC-Charlotte.
The site replaces the Sweden Road operations and switching center which was outgrown due to continued strong market demand.
Constructed with space to expand service to four times its current load, the new operations center will accommodate growth rates projected as high as 50 percent a year, according to Mike Irizarry, executive director of network operations for the company's Southeast Region.
"We project that explosive growth is likely to continue over the next few years," Irizarry said. "This facility will permit us to address that increased usage and assure our customers that their calls will go through the first time, every time."
Located at 8921 Research Drive, the new operations center will initially employ about 40 people, with the capacity for as many as 100. Approximately 14,000 square feet are dedicated to office space with the remainder left for the switching center and back-up power.
A "switch" is the nerve center of a telephone communications system. When a customer places a call, it is transmitted to a cell site, then routed to the switching center which relays its to its destination -- either conventional landline or another cell site if the receiver is another wireless user.
In addition to providing increased capacity to serve more cellular customers, the new center will also facilitate new communications services such as DigitalChoice , the wireless industry's most sophisticated digital cellular telephone service. Charlotte was one of the first three metro regions in the country where Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile began offering this newest wireless technology.
As further assurance of uninterrupted service, the new facility has been designed to be near disaster-proof, thanks largely to the University Research Park's highly protected power infrastructure, according to Irizarry.
"Feeder lines from two electrical substations that supply the park's tenants are completely encased in concrete," Irizarry said. "It is capable of standing up to disasters such as Hurricane Hugo and worse. This is important because we know more than ever that our customer values reliability and security in his or her cellular phone."
Editor's note: Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the east, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has 4.6 million customers and 6,500 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company was formed in July, 1995, by combining the cellular operations of Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. For more information, visit our home page at www.banm.com.