Verizon Wireless Introduces Digital Service in Central Illinois and Key Interstate Corridors

Verizon Wireless Introduces Digital Service in Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Normal, Springfield and Key Interstate Corridors

January 15, 2001



Verizon Wireless, one of the largest cellular communications providers in Central Illinois, has introduced digital wireless service in the Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Normal and Springfield areas. The new digital service is also available along key Central Illinois interstate corridors: I-55, from Springfield to St. Louis; I-72, from Springfield to Champaign/Normal; and I-74, from Bloomington/Normal to Danville.

"The availability of digital service means that our customers in this area can now have better call quality as well as access to Caller ID, numeric and text messaging and Mobile Web Internet access on their wireless phones," said Greg Klimek, president - Chicago Region, Great Lakes Area, Verizon Wireless. "We are excited to offer wireless Internet access in these markets. This technology opens up a world of possibilities for everyone."

Verizon Wireless' Digital Service in Illinois

In Illinois, in addition to the cities and interstate corridors listed above, Verizon Wireless' digital service is currently available in the greater metropolitan Chicago area and Rockford. Verizon Wireless is upgrading the service network so that an increasing number of Illinois residents will be in a digital service area within the next year.

Verizon Wireless is offering its digital service at the same rates as those currently offered to the company's other wireless customers. Verizon Wireless customers who want to switch to digital service will need to use a phone that is capable of digital transmission. Dual-mode and tri-mode phones work on the company's digital as well as existing analog networks, so if a customer travels outside Verizon Wireless' digital service coverage area, the call switches automatically to analog mode.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 27.5 million wireless voice and data 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 (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The 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 Bedminster, NJ, is 38,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.