Mobile Cell Site Ready at "The Ralph"

Buffalo, NY - Verizon Wireless is helping fans "make the call" at this Sunday's Buffalo Bills game. The wireless carrier has installed a mobile cell site at Ralph Wilson Stadium to handle the increased wireless call volume expected at the season opener and at all Bills home games during the 2000-2001 football season. The "cell on wheels" (COW) will effectively double the wireless call capacity in and around the stadium.

The COW, a fully functional, generator-powered mobile cell site, will be positioned beside the stadium to provide increased wireless capacity in the area. The COW has the same call capacity as a freestanding cell site and can handle both CDMA digital calls and wireless data and Internet service.

"With more than 73,000 fans converging on such a small area, not to mention media, public safety officers, stadium personnel and the Bills staff themselves, there is the potential for a significant increase in wireless activity over what we would normally see," said Randall Miller, director of system performance for Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "The COW gives us the ability to make sure we have enough capacity to handle those calls and provide the quality of service our customers and the Bills expect."

With 37 percent of the U.S. population using wireless service today (more than 100 million customers), it's easy to assume a similar percentage of fans at the stadium will be using their wireless phones to locate friends in the parking lot, make plans to meet after the game, and call for help if there is an emergency. Bills staff and stadium personnel will also use wireless phones to coordinate normal game day activities, including processing credit card transactions inside the stadium.

"Our ability to provide exceptional network coverage is one of the reasons the Bills chose Verizon Wireless to be the Official Wireless Provider of the Bills," said Tracy Nolan, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "The Bills wanted to be sure their staff would have outstanding wireless coverage on game day."

As the official wireless provider, Verizon Wireless will supply all wireless hardware and service for Bills players, coaches and staff.

"Communications is a key component to our business on game day and throughout the season," said Russ Brandon, vice president, business development and marketing for the Buffalo Bills.

The Verizon Wireless COW has already been used at this year's Global Crossing at the Glen, the New York State Fair, and in Lake Placid during President Clinton's recent visit. It is also used if Verizon Wireless has to rebuild or upgrade an existing cell site, or if a cell site goes down due to a natural disaster, such as a storm. Verizon Wireless installed similar mobile cell sites at the recent Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles and at wildfire sites in the West.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and 3.4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp --now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone Group Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/verizon/mediacenter.