Verizon Wireless Upgrades Network in Lexington and Fairfield, Improving Service Along Virginia I-81

LEXINGTON, VA — Verizon Wireless today announced its customers traveling from Harrisonburg to Pulaski along I-81 should see an improvement in the quality of their wireless phone service following the company's installation of the newest digital radio equipment in Lexington and Fairfield.

The expansion of the company's digital network in Lexington has improved coverage to the west on I-64 past Kerr's Creek, around the city of Buena Vista, and north and south along I-81 and Route 11.

A similar network expansion in Fairfield provides continuous coverage around Raphine and Fairfield, as well as north and south along I-81 and Route 11.

Additional network upgrades along I-81 are also planned.

The new equipment uses the latest code division multiple access (CDMA) technology to double the call-handling capacity of the network. Customers will notice immediate improvements including fewer blocked calls, longer cell phone battery life, and greater call clarity. The project is one of several Virginia cornerstones of a $4 billion nationwide program to increase the capacity and digital coverage of the extensive Verizon Wireless network.

CDMA digital wireless service transmits calls as a series of binary ones and zeroes for greater call clarity, as opposed to continuous radio waves transmitted by analog service, and each call is encoded for superior wireless security. CDMA digital handsets transmit at much lower power levels than analog phones for significantly longer battery life and talk time, and provide customers advanced wireless services such as Internet access and text messaging.

"With this significant wireless network upgrade, we're providing our local business and consumer customers with the technology and capabilities they've been asking for," said Patrick Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless' Washington-Baltimore-Virginia Region. "Digital subscribers will notice an immediate difference in the quality of their calls."

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 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 97 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