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Verizon Wireless - Nation's Largest Wireless Provider Opens for Business in Southern Illinois

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ST. LOUIS, MO — The nation's largest wireless communications company, Verizon Wireless, has launched service in Southern Illinois after a successful transition from its purchase of the region from Cellular One. Effective immediately, nine retail locations and six Radio Shack stores in Southern Illinois are boasting Verizon Wireless specials.

"We are very pleased to add Southern Illinois to our service area and provide quality, nationwide communications to residents and businesses throughout the region," said Lisa Chrzaszcz, regional president of Verizon Wireless. "As the leading wireless communications provider in the U.S., having a strong presence in Southern Illinois is important to us."

Grand Opening specials are available through January 27, 2001 at Verizon Wireless and Radio Shack locations. Customers can take advantage of special promotions including triple anytime minutes for the first three months of a new two-year service agreement, and 1,000 night and weekend minutes, on plans with monthly access of $29.99 and higher. Additionally, nationwide long distance from the home calling area is included on plans with monthly access of $39.99 and higher.

Share plans, free phones (after $50.00 mail-in rebate with new, two-year service agreements) and waived activation fees are additional specials available at all Southern Illinois Verizon Wireless locations. The staff of trained professionals can assist individuals in selecting equipment and making decisions on calling plans.

New Verizon Wireless locations include:

Kroger Plaza Anna, IL 618/833-3333 1376 East Main Street Carbondale, IL 618/549-5490 1206 Sanwick Street Chester, IL 618/826-2595 10 West Frankfort Plaza Frankfort, IL 618/937-2154 618 North Commercial Harrisburg, IL 618/253-4800 2902 West De Young Marion, IL 618/997-5770 324 Ferry Street Metropolis, IL 618/524-3477 331 North Market Mt. Carmel, IL 618-262-5400 415 South 42nd Street Mt. Vernon, IL 618/246-0011

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