CHAMPAIGN, IL — Verizon Wireless expanded service coverage in Central Illinois just before the New Year with five new cell sites. The expansion was part of the company's $4 billion investment in network improvements nationwide in 2001, $22.5 million of which was dedicated to improving its network in Central Illinois.
"We at Verizon Wireless believe our customers deserve the greatest network coverage possible," said Tracy Nolan, president - Illinois/Wisconsin Region. "That's why we've invested a great deal of capital in network improvements this past year, and will continue to do so. We want to offer our customers optimal call clarity and the very latest applications wireless technology has to offer."
The new digital sites, located in Teutopolis, St. Elmo, Martinsville, Mason and Pesotum, will expand Verizon Wireless' digital service in the following communities:
- The Teutopolis site will provide service in and around the towns of Effingham and Teutopolis, along the junction of I-70 and I-57.
- The St. Elmo site will provide service in and around the town of Brownstown, along I-70 between Vandalia and Altamont.
- The Martinsville site will provide service in and around the town of Martinsville and along I-70 between Casey and Marshall.
- The Mason site will provide service in and around the town of Mason and along I-57 between Effingham and Loogootee.
- The Pesotum site will provide service in and around the town of Pesotum and along I-57 between Champaign and Tuscola.
The $22.5 million investment was designed to enhance Verizon Wireless' digital wireless network so the company could deliver the most advanced wireless voice and data services to its customers in Central Illinois. Throughout 2001, Verizon Wireless expanded coverage and increased capacity on its switching centers and cell sites to handle the strong demand for its wireless services. In addition, the company began upgrading its network in 2001 with third generation (3G) wireless technology that offers wireless Internet services at speeds 10 times faster than available today. On January 28, 2002, Verizon Wireless commercially launched its 1XRTT data network, called Express Network, in major East and West Coast markets. The company plans to launch its Express Network in most of its Midwest markets this year.
Customer growth, greater usage due to high-value pricing like the SingleRateSM national plan, and the popularity of Mobile Web™ wireless internet services and text messaging continue to drive local demand for Verizon Wireless' services. The company plans to meet that demand with continued network improvements throughout the year.
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.
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