Verizon Wireless To Invest More Than $22.5 Million In Central Illinois Network As Part Of Major Expansion

Verizon Wireless To Invest More Than $22.5 Million
In Central Illinois Network As Part Of Major Expansion

Company's Network Expansion Designed to Stay Ahead of Wireless Growth

June 13, 2001




Continuing its aggressive network investment, Verizon Wireless today announced it will spend more than $22.5 million this year throughout Central Illinois to enhance its digital wireless network to deliver the most advanced wireless voice and data services to its customers.

The upgrades are part of a $150 million investment Verizon Wireless is making in 2001 in the Illinois/Wisconsin Region that will expand coverage and increase capacity in its switching centers and cell sites to handle strong demand for its wireless services. In addition, the company will begin to upgrade its network with third generation (3G) wireless technology which offers wireless Internet services at speeds up to 10 times faster than available today.

Customer growth, greater usage due to high-value pricing like SingleRateSM national and regional calling plans, and the popularity of Mobile Web wireless Internet services are driving the local demand for Verizon Wireless' services.

"We've invested heavily in our network over the years to ensure our customers enjoy reliable, high quality wireless service, with minimal dropped calls and call clarity that is second to none," said Greg Klimek, president of the company's Illinois/Wisconsin Region. "At the end of the day, what matters most to customers is being able to make a wireless call when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience."

"We expect this network enhancement to be a big benefit for Verizon Wireless customers in the Champaign/Bloomington area," said Mike Sullivan, district manager for Verizon Wireless. "Quality, service and options will be better than ever."

The Illinois/Wisconsin Region's network investment is part of the company's nationwide $4 billion network improvement program in 2001 to ensure customers will benefit from the most extensive wireless network in the United States. The company's CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) digital technology provides better voice quality than rival technologies and enables the company to serve more customers and handle more simultaneous calls. Verizon Wireless has the largest digital customer base in the United States.

Klimek said the company's network investment also will contribute to the economy. "Our spending continues to have a positive economic effect for equipment manufacturers, construction companies and small businesses in the area," he said.

Editor's Note: To find out how the Verizon Wireless network investment will benefit your area, please call Carolyn Schamberger at 847-619-4282.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data 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), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 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.