ROCHESTER, NY — As demand for wireless service continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless created hundreds of new jobs in Upstate New York and invested heavily in its digital wireless network to prepare for next generation, high-speed data services and provide customers with top-quality wireless service. The company also introduced new, high-value wireless voice and data services designed to meet customers' needs for simple, affordable wireless communications wherever they go.
Continued growth and expansion at Verizon Wireless created new jobs within the company and resulted in business opportunities for local firms, such as employee recruiting agencies, contractors and real estate offices. More than 525 employees were hired last year in sales, customer service and technical positions throughout the region, including more than 350 at the company's regional call center in Rochester.
"Verizon Wireless is committed to delivering superior service to our customers and to growing our business," said John Palmer, president of the company's Upstate New York Region. "A key component of that growth is our commitment to Upstate New York. At a time when many local companies are eliminating jobs, we were able to bring hundreds of new jobs to Rochester and the Upstate New York region."
To make shopping for wireless services easy and convenient, Verizon Wireless opened a new retail location in Buffalo and remodeled and updated another 16 stores across Upstate New York. Verizon Wireless now owns and operates 57 Communications Stores and mall kiosks in Upstate New York.
The company also invested more than $110 million in the Upstate New York area to enhance its wireless network and stay ahead of the growth curve in customer demand. Verizon Wireless built more than 40 new cell sites, updated another 55 from analog service to digital, and added 30% more capacity to its network with more than 320 CDMA (code-division multiple access) carrier additions to existing sites. These investments will allow the wireless company to handle the increasing number of wireless calls throughout the region and ensure customers enjoy reliable, high-quality wireless service.
"At the end of day, what matters most to customers is being able to make or receive a wireless call when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," Palmer said. "An expansive, high-capacity network is essential for reliable service. That's why we invest billions in our nationwide network each year."
The value of wireless service that customers can depend on when and where they need it was demonstrated during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region provided close to 100 emergency phones to police, fire and rescue workers from the area who traveled to lower Manhattan to help with recovery efforts.
In 2002, the company will continue to invest in its wireless network to ensure customers enjoy reliable wireless service and to deliver new, advanced wireless technology. Additional capacity will be installed in wireless switching offices to handle the projected growth in wireless calling. In addition, Verizon Wireless will roll out next generation wireless service, also known as 1XRTT, which will offer customers high-speed wireless data services, including e-mail, graphics, and Internet access at speeds comparable to home dial-up access.
The company also introduced a number of new products and services last year, such as SingleRateSM multi-state calling plans with no long distance or roaming charges when calling from your home rate area, that offer customers greater value for their wireless dollars. Verizon Wireless two-way text messaging made its debut in 2001, as well. Using a wireless phone with two-way text messaging capability, customers can swap fast, discreet messages in a meeting, a restaurant or the mall. In addition, the company launched a new prepaid wireless service called [FREEUP] that can be used throughout the United States and includes two-way text messaging, voice mail and call waiting. With [FREEUP], there are no monthly bills, no credit checks and no long-term contracts to sign - attractive features for teens and young adults.
In addition to its business achievements, Verizon Wireless continued its community service efforts through its HopeLineSM program that seeks to bring the benefits of wireless technology to victims of domestic violence. More than 200 phones were donated last year to victims of domestic violence in communities throughout Upstate New York. Since 1995, the company has donated or recycled more than 45,000 wireless phones for use in emergencies.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the leading wireless communications provider in the U.S., with the largest wireless network and more than 29.4 million 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). Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 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.
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