ROCHESTER, NY — Continuing its aggressive network investment, Verizon Wireless today announced it will spend more than $100 million this year in Upstate New York to enhance its digital wireless network to deliver the most advanced wireless voice and data services to its customers.
The company will focus on expanding coverage and increasing digital capacity to handle the ever-growing demand for wireless services. Verizon Wireless plans to build more than 30 new cell sites across the region and add additional CDMA (code division multiple access) digital channels to hundreds of existing sites. In addition, the company will begin to upgrade its network with third generation (3G) wireless technology, which offers wireless Internet services at speeds up to 10 times faster than what is available today.
Customer growth, increased usage due to high-value price plans like SingleRateSM national and regional calling plans, and the popularity of wireless Internet services are all driving the local demand for wireless services.
"Staying ahead of the wireless growth curve requires continuing network expansion and enhancements," said Tracy Nolan, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "We've invested heavily in our network over the years to ensure our customers enjoy reliable, high quality wireless service. Our $100 million investment in 2001 will continue that commitment."
Part of that ongoing commitment includes baseline "drive testing" to determine where additional capacity and coverage are needed. Each month, a Verizon Wireless network engineer drives major highways across the service area in a specially outfitted station wagon measuring call quality and coverage. This testing is also the primary metric for comparing its network to competitor networks. The company tests its network each month, while most competitors only do so once or twice a year. Baseline testing is an ongoing investment in the network and serves as a quality control to help ensure the company is providing the best service for its customers.
The Upstate New York Region's network investment is part of the company's nationwide $4 billion network improvement program in 2001 to offer the most extensive wireless network in the U.S. The company's CDMA digital technology provides better voice quality than rival technologies and enables the company to serve more customers and handle more simultaneous calls.
About Verizon Wireless
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.