BELLEVUE, WA — As demand for wireless service continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless in the Pacific Northwest 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 products 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 seven new retail locations in Washington and Oregon during the past year, bringing the total number of company-owned Communications Stores and mall kiosks in the Pacific Northwest to 37, employing nearly 300 people.
"Our 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 Kelley Kurtzman, president of the company's Pacific Northwest Region.
The company also invested more than $125 million to enhance its wireless network in the Pacific Northwest. To stay ahead of the growth in customer demand, significant investment was made to add digital capacity to existing switches and cell sites, on new technology and 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.
"What matters most to customers is being able to make and receive wireless calls when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," Kurtzman said. "An expansive, high-capacity network is essential for reliable service. Our $4 billion investment in our nationwide network in 2001 demonstrates we never stop working for our customers."
Verizon Wireless also introduced a number of new products and services last year, including 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 capability made its debut in 2001, as well. Using Mobile MessengerSM, customers can swap fast, discreet messages in a meeting, a restaurant or the mall. The company also introduced 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 contract to sign - attractive features for young adults and security users.
In addition to its business achievements, Verizon Wireless continued its commitment to community service efforts by joining forces with Pacific Northwest civic leaders to launch comprehensive domestic violence prevention campaigns in Oregon and Washington, and introducing HopeLineSM a program that collects and recycles used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence.
The domestic violence prevention and awareness initiatives included cash grants to local domestic violence prevention agencies totaling more than $60,000; donation of cellular phones and free Verizon Wireless service to battered women shelters; and launch of an abuse prevention campaign, including the distribution of domestic violence awareness posters and educational materials targeted to local businesses.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the leading wireless communications provider in the U.S., with the largest wireless network and more than 29.4 million 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.
To update your profile or remove yourself from automatic News Delivery, please visit the Verizon Wireless Customized News Service Center.####