Growth, Retail Expansion And Network Reliability Mark Successful Year For Verizon Wireless In New England

WOBURN, MA — As demand for wireless continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless 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.

To make shopping for wireless services easy and convenient, Verizon Wireless opened 7 new retail locations in New England, bringing the total number of company-owned Communications Stores and mall kiosks in the region to 52.

"Our aggressive retail expansion last year continued to increase our presence in the market and, despite an economic downturn, had a positive impact in the communities we serve," said Bob Stott, president of the company's New England Region.

The company also invested nearly $250 million to enhance its wireless network in New England. To stay ahead of the growth curve in customer demand, significant investment was made to add digital capacity at existing switches and cell sites, on new technology and new cell sites. The investment allows for an increasing number of wireless calls throughout the region, improves coverage and ensures customers a reliable, high quality wireless service.

"At the end of day, what matters most to customers is being able to make or receive a wireless call when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," Stott said. "An expansive, high-capacity network is essential for reliable service. That's why we invested $4 billion in our nationwide network in 2001."

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, offering customers greater value for their wireless dollars. Verizon Wireless two-way text messaging made its debut in 2001, as well. Using Mobile MessengerSM and 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, seeking to bring the benefits of wireless technology to the people who live and work in the area. Since 1995, the company has donated or recycled more than 45,000 wireless phones for use in emergencies.

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 third generation (3G) 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.

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

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