WOBURN, MA — Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable network, has completed a $330 million investment for 2004 to further enhance the company's network in New England. The multi-million dollar annual investment included updating cell sites and other technology to improve call quality, increase coverage areas, and allow a variety of advanced services such as wireless broadband computing, text and video messaging and other applications.
With additional major enhancements scheduled to continue through 2005, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $1 billion over a five-year period in regional network upgrades alone.
"This was another major investment to better serve our customers. We're not letting up in our mission to keep delivering the nation's most reliable wireless network," said Bob Stott, regional president. "The New England region is an especially important market due to its rapid growth, tech-savvy business community and major college and university presence. We're working hard and investing millions every month to be able to satisfy the ever-growing demand for the latest wireless technology."
Network upgrade highlights for 2004 include:
- 130 new cell sites added across the region. Since 2001, the company has more than doubled its wireless network capacity in the New England region to better serve customers' voice calls, and support advanced data services. Customer usage on the New England network increased 40% from the previous year.
- Residents and visitors to three New England states experienced new service following the acquisition of licenses and the development of those new territories in: Litchfield County in Connecticut, Grafton, Sullivan and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire, and York County in Maine. 71 new cell sites were activated in these areas to provide new coverage.
- More than 90% of the Verizon Wireless cell sites have their own backup generators, providing alternate power during commercial power outages to keep the network up and running.
- Cells On Wheels (COW's) deployed at events as varied as the Democratic National Convention and the Red Sox' World Championship Rally in Boston and the Phish Farewell Concert in Vermont saw record usage.
Last year Verizon Wireless' cross-country team of real-life test men and women made more than 3.6 million calls and traveled more than 1.2 million miles nationwide, testing the Verizon Wireless network on the most frequently traveled roadways.
The company's reputation for having the most reliable national wireless network is based on network studies performed by these real-life test men and women who inspired the company's national television advertising campaign.
Already in 2005, Verizon Wireless has expanded its BroadbandAccess network into New England. BroadBandAccess, now available in Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, and several local airports, is the fastest wide-area wireless Internet access service available in the nation with typical user download speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second (kbps). The company has also deployed BroadbandAccess in additional markets nationwide and now offers the nation's fastest, commercially available mobile high-speed wide-area service in more than 30 markets including: Atlanta; Austin, TX; Baltimore; Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus, OH; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Dayton, OH; Houston; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, KS/MO; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Madison, WI; Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL; Milwaukee; New Orleans; New York City; Newark, NJ; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; San Diego; Tampa, FL; Washington, D.C. and; West Palm Beach, FL. Continued rollouts are planned across the country, throughout the year.
Note to editors and reporters: Specially-equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test the networks of all major wireless providers, using technology to generate phonically diverse "conversations." If you are interested in setting up an interview or ride-along test drive with your locally-based Verizon Wireless test man or woman, please contact David Thomson at 978-808-7700.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.####