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

PHOENIX, AZ — As demand for wireless service continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, invested heavily in its digital wireless network to provide customers with top quality wireless service and prepare for next generation, high-speed data services.

In 2001, the company invested more than $ 50 million to enhance its wireless network in Arizona. To stay ahead of the growth in customer demand, significant investment was made to add digital capacity at existing switches and cell sites, to install new technology and add new cell sites. Verizon Wireless' investment allows even more simultaneous voice and data calls to anywhere in the country from 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," said Ralph Martinez, regional president, Verizon Wireless. "An expansive, high-capacity network like ours is essential for reliable service. That's why we invested $4 billion in our nationwide network last year."

To make shopping for wireless services and equipment easy and convenient, Verizon Wireless also opened 11 new retail locations in Arizona, bringing the total number of company-owned communications stores and mall kiosks in the state to 28.

"Our aggressive retail expansion last year nearly doubled our presence in the market and had a positive impact in the communities we serve, especially given the economic turndown," added Martinez. Verizon Wireless also introduced a number of new products and services in 2001, including Mobile MessengerSM text messaging, which allows customers to swap fast, discreet messages between Verizon Wireless mobile phones. Additionally, the company launched [FREEUP], a new national prepaid wireless service 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, making it an attractive alternative for young adults.

In addition to its business achievements, Verizon Wireless continued its leadership role in promoting the elimination of domestic violence. Through its HopeLineSM program, the company is bringing the benefits of wireless technology to victims of domestic violence. Since 1995, Verizon Wireless has donated or recycled more than 45,000 wireless phones for use in emergencies.

Last year, Verizon Wireless also joined forces with the state of Arizona to launch a comprehensive domestic violence prevention campaign. During October, nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless awarded grants totaling more than $42,000 to domestic violence agencies statewide. The outreach was part of the company's ongoing, nationwide campaign to promote awareness and prevention efforts within the communities it serves.

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

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