Growth, Retail Expansion And Network Reliability Mark Successful Year For Verizon Wireless In Northern California And Nevada

SAN RAMON, CA — As demand for wireless service continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless invested heavily in its digital wireless network in Northern California and Nevada to prepare for the recently introduced next generation, high-speed data services and provide customers with top quality wireless service. The company also introduced a series of 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 21 new retail locations in Northern California and Nevada during the past year, bringing the total number of company-owned Communications Stores and mall kiosks in the Northern California/Nevada region to 70, creating nearly 150 new jobs to the team of 2,500 Verizon Wireless Northern California/Nevada employees already in place.

"Our retail expansion last year continued to increase our presence in the market and had a positive impact in the communities we serve, especially given the economic downturn," said Tony Simpson, Northern California/Nevada Region President.

The company also invested more than $270 million to enhance its wireless network in the Northern California/Nevada region. 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 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, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," Simpson said. "An expansive, high-capacity network is essential for reliable service. Our $4 billion investment in our nationwide network in 2001 demonstrates our ongoing commitment to 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. 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 national 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 San Francisco and Fresno civic leaders to launch comprehensive domestic violence prevention campaigns and introducing HopeLineSM a Verizon Wireless program that collects and recycles used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence.

The domestic violence prevention and awareness initiatives included Verizon Wireless cash grants to local domestic violence prevention agencies totaling more than $90,000; 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

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