Verizon Wireless Introduces Digital Service In Columbus, Seymour, Scottsburg and Greensburg and Expands Local Calling Area

COLUMBUS, IN — Verizon Wireless has completed system improvements to provide digital wireless service in the Columbus, Seymour, Scottsburg and Greensburg areas. The company has also expanded the local calling area to include 80 of Indiana's 92 counties, which means most in-state wireless calls will not incur long distance or roaming charges.

"The availability of digital service means that our customers in this area can now have access to Caller ID, numeric and text messaging, and Mobile Web Internet access on their wireless phones," said Ralph Thorpe, director - marketing, Indiana Region, Verizon Wireless.

"Digital wireless service improves audio quality, reduces static, offers greater conversation privacy and longer battery life," said Thorpe. "It also decreases the number of dropped and blocked calls and decreases the chance of fraudulent phone use.

"We are excited to offer wireless Internet access in these markets," Thorpe continued. "This technology opens up a world of possibilities for everyone."

The expanded Verizon Wireless local coverage area was made possible by the company's new organizational structure. Formerly known in Indiana as GTE Wireless, Verizon Wireless was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp., GTE Corp. and Vodafone.

"We expect that some customers may actually save money on their wireless bills because of the expanded local calling area," said Thorpe.

Verizon Wireless' Digital Service in Indiana

In Indiana, Verizon Wireless' digital service is currently available in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Anderson, Muncie, Kokomo, Terre Haute, Lafayette, Evansville, Marion, Huntington and Gas City. Verizon Wireless is upgrading the service network so that the majority of Indiana 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 or tri-mode phones work both on the company's digital and existing analog networks, so if a customer travels outside Verizon Wireless' digital service coverage area, the call automatically switches to analog mode.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S.with 26.3 million wireless voice and data customers and 3.5 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 (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 32,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at