Wireless Customers in Upstate New York to be Able to Change Providers and Keep Their Wireless Phone Numbers Next Month

ROCHESTER, NY — In just over one month Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP) will take effect giving wireless customers the ability to switch wireless carriers and keep their existing phone numbers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated WLNP take effect in the nation's Top 100 markets on November 24, 2003. Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is preparing its systems to accommodate customers who wish to keep their numbers when switching to or from Verizon Wireless. The company will be ready to meet the FCC's deadline and is urging all wireless carriers to follow suit to make the experience as hassle-free for customers as possible.

In Upstate New York, customers in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany markets will be able to keep their wireless numbers and switch providers as of 11/24/03. "Verizon Wireless is working hard toward making number portability easy and convenient for our current and potential customers," said John Palmer, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "I hope other carriers will join us in ensuring a smooth transition when WLNP goes into effect on November 24th."

To date, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $50 million upgrading its network and systems, training employees, and opening a new call center dedicated to WLNP transactions to prepare for the November 24 deadline.

Verizon Wireless has pledged to impose no special barriers to switching from one service provider to another. Verizon Wireless customers will not see any extra charges on their current monthly bill, and will not be charged for any implementation costs before portability is in place. After that time, Verizon Wireless may contemplate a small recovery fee of 10 to 15 cents per month per customer.

"Number portability will not only break barriers currently faced by wireless customers but it will also promote a healthy competitive marketplace that will strive for excellence," said Palmer. "Customers will no longer feel trapped by carriers because they do not want to lose their numbers. Their decision to stay or switch will depend solely on quality of service, especially network quality and performance."

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 34.6 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 www.verizonwireless.com.