Over The River And Through The Woods�

LAUREL, MD — Verizon Wireless is sending an early holiday gift to customers who are hitting the roads south of D.C. this busy travel season. The company has doubled network capacity on the heavily traveled I-95 corridor - from Washington, D.C. to Fredericksburg, Va.

The American Automobile Association forecasts that 79 percent of Washingtonians will make their Christmas-New Year's trips by auto - an increase from the 75 percent that drove last year.

Verizon Wireless anticipates increased call volume throughout the region as wireless customers take advantage of the lowest gasoline prices in nearly three years to visit friends and family.

The company has added additional carrier systems to five cell sites along I-95, which will more than double the number of calls its extensive wireless network can handle for customers by using the latest code division multiple access (CDMA) digital call handling equipment. The new capacity also means improved voice service and fewer dropped or blocked calls.

"We can't control traffic, flat tires or your children's behavior in the backseat, but we can improve the quality and clarity of our customers' calls," said Patrick Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless' Washington-Baltimore-Virginia Region. "As always, though, we want to remind all wireless users to practice responsible driving while using their wireless phones."

Verizon Wireless is investing more than $200 million in its network in the Washington-Baltimore-Virginia region as part of the company's nationwide $4 billion network improvement program in 2001 to offer customers service on the most extensive wireless network in the U.S.

Verizon Wireless was named the leader in customer satisfaction among wireless users in Washington - Baltimore in the highly-regarded J.D. Power and Associates 2001 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction StudySM released Sept. 26, 2001.

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). 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 http://www.verizonwireless.com.

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