Verizon Wireless Launches Express Network in Great Plains Region

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Starting Monday, March 31, Verizon Wireless customers in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul and Duluth, Minn. areas will be able to reap the benefits of a significantly faster, more robust wireless experience with the expansion of Express NetworkSM, the company's national high-speed wireless data network.

Additional cities included in the March 31 launch for the five-state Great Plains Region, headquartered in Plymouth, Minn., include the Iowa communities of Des Moines, Ames, Fort Dodge, Webster City, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Dubuque. North Dakota communities include Fargo/Grand Forks and the Red River Valley while South Dakota communities include Sioux Falls and the Rapid City area. Omaha, Neb. and Council Bluffs, Iowa launched Express Network in 2002.

Verizon Wireless' Express Network enhances all levels of wireless communication, from voice transmission, Internet browsing and email, to enterprise applications that give companies with mobile employees tools for increased productivity and efficiency. Express Network customers can expect speeds similar to or better than the speeds experienced by home PC users dialing into their Internet Service Provider (ISP). Average data transmissions speeds of Express Network are between 40 and 60 kilobits per second (Kbps) with bursts up to 144 Kbps.

"Being out of the office no longer means being out of the loop," said Rich Garwood, president of Verizon Wireless' Great Plains Region. "With the flexibility that Express Network service affords, businesses will benefit from increased worker productivity. In addition, business travelers no longer have to worry about finding a phone jack in order to remotely access important documents and emails since our high-speed network is available in more than 900 cities throughout the country."

Minute- or Data-Based Price Plans: Customers Can Make the Call

To accommodate its customers, Verizon Wireless is offering two different pricing options. Customers accustomed to measuring wireless use by the minutes used can take advantage of the Express Network on most digital voice calling plans. In this scenario, all minutes are used for data or voice. Customers who are heavy data users can take advantage of tiered rate plans that are based on actual data usage starting at $35 per month for 10 megabytes up to a flat rate of $99.99 per month, with some restrictions, for unlimited Express Network usage.

Express Network Equipment

Verizon Wireless' Express Network customers have a choice of affordable equipment options, including phones, PDAs and PC cards. The Audiovox Thēra is a Windows-Powered Pocket PC that allows customers to make voice calls and access Express Network to surf the Web. The device retails for $599.99, with a two-year contract, and includes a color screen and features such as handwriting recognition. The Sierra Wireless AirCard 555, which retails for $299.99, enables customers to add voice, circuit-switched data and short messaging service capabilities to their laptops, select PDAs and other computing devices.

Several Express Network compatible wireless handsets are available through Verizon Wireless corporate sales, Communications Stores and authorized agents. The phones function as a modem to access Express Network when used with a laptop and a compatible Mobile Office connectivity kit, sold separately. For more information about the Verizon Wireless Express Network, visit or a local Verizon Wireless Communications Store.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 32.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at