Verizon Wireless Launches Express Network: Upstate New York's First Major Advanced Wireless Network

ROCHESTER, NY — Starting tomorrow, Verizon Wireless customers in Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Jamestown, Elmira-Corning, and the rest of the company's digital network in Western New York, will be able to reap the rewards of a significantly faster, more robust wireless experience with the company's commercial launch of its 1XRTT network. The 1XRTT network - the first deployment of 3G technology by a wireless company in Upstate New York - will enhance all levels of wireless communications - from a simple voice call, to full Internet browsing, streaming video, and email. This high-speed network also supports enterprise applications, giving companies with mobile employees tools for increased productivity and efficiency.

The Express Network is Verizon Wireless' 1XRTT data network, capable of data transmission speeds up to 144 kilobits per second (kbps). Business customers and individual consumers using Express Network can expect high-speed wireless data and robust Internet access at average speeds between 40 and 60 kbps, and may experience speeds up to 144 kbps. By using the new Verizon Wireless 2235 handset from Kyocera with a compatible Mobile Office kit as a modem for their laptops, or by using the AirCard 555 PC card from Sierra Wireless for their laptops and select PDAs, Express Network subscribers on the high-speed data network can now have access to their company network or Internet at faster speeds.

The Express Network will give users full Internet access, intranet access and traditional email functionality via a laptop at unprecedented speeds for wireless access. Users should expect average speeds significantly higher than speeds being produced by competing technologies and comparable to what PC users get when using a dial-up Internet service at home.

"The rollout of our Express Network is a major expression of our differentiation in the wireless marketplace: the high quality of our wireless network," said John Palmer, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "Wireless data is only as good as the network it's on, and the Verizon Wireless network, already the most advanced in the nation, just took another giant step ahead of its competitors. We will continue expanding the Express Network, and by the close of 2002 the majority of Verizon Wireless' nearly 222 million covered POPs should be able to use the Express Network every day."

Verizon Wireless is the first U.S. wireless carrier to commercially launch a sizeable 3G footprint, having already made its 1XRTT network available to customers in areas of the Northeast, from Norfolk, VA, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, up to Boston and in Portland, Maine; in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California; and in Salt Lake City, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. With its launch today in Upstate New York, as well as several metropolitan areas in the Midwest and South, 1XRTT network capabilities are available in more than one third of the Verizon Wireless nationwide footprint, reaching more than 72 million Americans.

"Together with the nation's most expansive network, Express Network gives our customers a strategic advantage as they continue to increasingly rely on wireless products for their business and personal communications needs, " said Palmer. "Given the very positive response from the participants who are already using our 1XRTT network, we are confident that our high-speed data network will fulfill and exceed our customers' expectations."

Express Network Pricing

Customers with a monthly digital voice calling plan of $35 or more can sign up for the Express Network, which lets customers use any of their airtime allowance minutes for voice or data, for an additional $30 per month.

Verizon Wireless also recently unveiled a rate plan based on kilobit usage for business customers using Express Network. Verizon Wireless is offering five new rate plans starting at $35 per month for 10 MB, $55 per month for 20 MB, with tiers up to 150 MB of data. Business customers will pay the same amount, regardless of how long it takes to download the same amount of data. On the $35 monthly rate plan, customers can download 10 MB of data-equivalent to thousands of emails, hundreds of Web pages or an average PowerPoint presentation.

"Our corporate customers who are heavy data users will find value in this per-kilobit rate plan," said Palmer.

Express Network Equipment

Express Network customers today can purchase the Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 or the Verizon Wireless 2235 by Kyocera, a 1XRTT data-compatible wireless handset that acts as a modem, to access the 1XRTT network. With these devices, customers can add voice, circuit-switched data and short messaging service capabilities to their laptops, select PDAs, and other computing devices.

The Sierra Wireless AirCard 555, which retails for $299.99, and the Verizon Wireless 2235 by Kyocera, which retails for $79.99, are available through Verizon Wireless corporate sales and in those Communications Stores where the Express Network is available. The tri-mode wireless handset is a communications system that includes many attractive features: voice-activated dialing, a WAP browser, electronic games, two-way text messaging, and predictive text-input software for rapid text entry. Kyocera 2235 customers will also need a compatible Mobile Office kit, sold separately for $79.99.

Express Network equipment and service are available through Verizon Wireless corporate sales, select Communications Stores, or by calling 1-800-308-DATA.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications and Internet services. The company has the largest nationwide wireless network and 29 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Reporters and editors can find more information on the Web at

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