ORANGEBURG, NY — As demand for wireless continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless opened a record number of retail outlets in the New York Metro area, and invested heavily in its digital wireless network to prepare for next generation, high-speed data services and provide customers with top quality wireless service. The company also introduced new, high-value wireless voice and data services designed to meet customers' needs for simple, affordable wireless communications wherever they go.
Continued growth and expansion at Verizon Wireless created new jobs within the company and resulted in business opportunities for local firms, such as contractors and real estate offices. More than 900 employees were hired last year in sales, customer service and technical positions throughout the region.
To make shopping for wireless services easy and convenient, Verizon Wireless opened 20 new retail locations in New York and New Jersey, the largest annual expansion in this area in the company's history, bringing the total number of company-owned Communications Stores and mall kiosks in the area to 62.
"Our aggressive retail expansion last year dramatically increased our presence in the market and, despite an economic downturn, had a positive impact in the communities we serve, in terms of new jobs and services purchased," said Charles Hand, president of the company's New York Metro Region.
The company also invested $300 million in the New York Metro area to enhance its wireless network and stay ahead of the growth curve in customer demand. Two new digital wireless switches were added in Branchburg, NJ and Whitestone, NY, and more than 100 cell sites were built to handle the increasing number of wireless calls throughout the region and ensure customers enjoy reliable, high quality wireless service.
"At the end of the day, what matters most to customers is being able to make a wireless call when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," Hand said. "An expansive, high-capacity network is essential for reliable service. That's why we invest billions in our nationwide network each year."
The value of wireless service that customers can depend on when and where they need it was demonstrated during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Verizon Wireless provided more than 4,600 emergency phones to police, fire and rescue workers in lower Manhattan and set up 21 temporary cell sites in the area to enable emergency workers, local residents and businesses to use wireless communications.
In 2002, the company will continue to invest in its wireless network to ensure customers enjoy the most reliable wireless service and to deliver new, advanced wireless technology. Additional capacity will be installed in wireless switching offices to handle the projected growth in wireless calling. In addition, Verizon Wireless will roll out next generation wireless service, also known as 1XRTT, which will offer customers high speed wireless data services, including e-mail, graphics, and Internet access at speeds comparable to home dial-up access.
The company also introduced a number of new products and services last year, like SingleRate multi-state calling plans, with no long distance or roaming charges, that offer customers greater value for their wireless dollars. Verizon Wireless two-way text messaging made its debut in 2001, as well. Using a wireless phone with two-way text messaging capability, customers can swap fast, discreet messages in a meeting, a restaurant or the mall. In addition, the company launched a new prepaid wireless service called [FREEUP] that can be used anywhere in the United States, and includes two-way text messaging, voice mail and call waiting. With [FREEUP], there are no monthly bills, no credit checks and no contracts to sign--attractive features for teens and young adults.
In addition to its business achievements, Verizon Wireless continued its community service efforts through its HopeLineSM program which seeks to bring the benefits of wireless technology to the people who live and work in the area. More than 100 phones were donated last year to victims of domestic violence and crossing guards in communities throughout New York and New Jersey. Since 1995, the company has donated or recycled more than 45,000 wireless phones for use in emergencies.
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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