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Verizon Wireless Launches Digital Service in Wenatchee

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BELLEVUE, WA — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, today announced the launch of digital service in Wenatchee. The new digital coverage is part of the company's $65 million investment in Washington State in 2001, and the company's national $4 billion investment to improve and extend the reach of its nationwide wireless network. To mark the occasion, Verizon Wireless is sponsoring a used phone collection to benefit victims of domestic violence.

"The expansion of digital service to Wenatchee is an example of Verizon Wireless' commitment to continually develop and enhance its network," said Kelley Kurtzman, regional president for Verizon Wireless in the Pacific Northwest. "Digital service will provide our customers with numerous benefits, including superior voice quality and security, longer battery life and talk time, and the ability to use advanced wireless services such as Internet access and text messaging."

The arrival of digital service in Wenatchee allows consumers to take advantage of Verizon Wireless' national and regional SingleRateSM plans. These plans offer no roaming or long distance charges nationwide or in the 12 Western states, respectively, and are targeted at travelers and business users. Digital customers can also take advantage of features like Caller ID and Voicemail.

The expansion of Verizon Wireless' digital coverage encompasses approximately 1,500 square miles of the Wenatchee area running south on Highway 28 to Rock Island and north to Brewster, including the town of Bridgeport, and west on Highway 2 to Leavenworth, including Lake Wenatchee.

Previously, Verizon Wireless offered only analog service in the area. With the introduction of digital service, analog customers will continue to enjoy their existing coverage, and have the option to upgrade to a digital phone to enjoy the features and benefits of digital service.

"Our customers are the real winners," said Kurtzman. "For many, CDMA digital service will change the way they communicate and stay in touch."

To commemorate the digital launch in Wenatchee, throughout November, the Verizon PhoneMart, 335 Valley Mall Parkway (next to The Bon), and Beyond Wireless, 1500 North Wenatchee Ave. (next to the Money Tree), stores will collect used wireless phones, batteries and chargers (of any make or model). Through Verizon Wireless' HopeLineSM program, the equipment will be recycled or sold, enabling Verizon Wireless to donate phones with free airtime to human services and law enforcement agencies that work directly with domestic violence victims.

"Verizon Wireless is committed to assisting communities by putting wireless products and services to work to reduce domestic violence," Kurtzman explained. "This year, Verizon Wireless is proud to have donated $16,000 in domestic violence grants and conference sponsorships in Washington."

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 and GTE Wireless. 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