CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Hurricane Ike may be headed for South Texas, and Verizon Wireless has its digital network throughout the region ready to deliver reliable wireless coverage and service in the event of severe storms. The company’s network crews and disaster response teams – including many veterans of previous storm seasons along the Gulf – are already on alert along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The company has made extensive investments and efforts to prepare its network for emergencies and provide the most reliable ongoing wireless service for residents and businesses. In 2006 and 2007, the company invested more than $245 million throughout Texas to strengthen and enhance its wireless network. The statewide network investment for 2008 is expected to reach $160 million.
Highlights of these long-term enhancements include expanding and enhancing regional switching facilities, erecting new digital cell sites with on-site back-up power and expanding the company’s (EV-DO) highest-speed (Revision A) network technology. In addition, teams of Verizon Wireless “test men” have been rolling across the region in a fleet of specialized test vehicles to fine tune the network and ensure reliable, comprehensive coverage in preparation for this storm season, as they do throughout the year.
“We’ve prepared our network to serve South Texas residents and provide the most reliable wireless service every day, including times of emergency,” said Luis Cruz, region president for Verizon Wireless.
Additional highlights of the Verizon Wireless 2008 Hurricane Season preparation and network enhancement includes:
- A comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida in the case of a crisis.
- The company also has a fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWs) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs), and Generators on Trailers (GOaTs) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity.
- Pre-arranging fuel delivery to mobile units and generators to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.
- The company has expanded its EV-DO wireless broadband network, including launching its highest-speed Rev. A network throughout the region. This allows the most advanced wireless services (downloads, location-based applications, video messaging, etc.) and makes the network more reliable for usage by residents and emergency agencies.
Verizon Wireless has invested more than $45 billion in the past eight years to enhance its digital wireless network across the nation.
(Editor’s Note: To accompany a Verizon Wireless Test Man, tour a network facility or obtain broadcast-quality video B-Roll and still images of network operations/emergency preparations, contact Audrey Lundy at 972-444-5516).
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 70,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: 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.