Verizon Wireless Invested More Than $600 Million in Its Network in California in 2003

WALNUT CREEK, CA — Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless provider, invested more than $600 million in its wireless network in 2003 in California alone. The capital expenditure was part of Verizon Wireless' aggressive, national network enhancement program, investing $4 billion a year for the last three years. Network upgrades delivered new services, including Picture Messaging, national Push to Talk service, and high-speed wireless data service throughout the county, and increased coverage and call capacity to meet increasing demand for wireless service.

In northern California/northern Nevada, the enhancements expanded the company's geographic footprint by nearly 38 percent and increased call capacity by 33 percent, enabling the network to handle even more simultaneous voice and data calls. Network investment in southern California resulted in a three percent increase in the geographic scope of the Verizon Wireless network and a 17 percent increase in the network's overall call capacity in the region.

"Now that Americans can switch wireless providers and keep their phone number, our consistent commitment to network quality gives them one more reason to get on and stay on the largest and most reliable network in the country," said Rich Garwood, president-Northern California/Nevada region, Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless introduced a number of new services in 2003, including its popular Picture Messaging, which lets customers snap a picture with their camera phone and send it to another Verizon Wireless customer, any e-mail address or a virtual photo album online. Customers can use the service on their own terms - subscribe to a bundle of picture messages, or snap and send on a pay-as-they-go basis. BroadbandAccess service, which the company recently announced would be rolled out nationally over the next two years, was launched in San Diego, Calif., and Washington, D.C. in 2003. Powered by a third generation (3G) wide-area network, BroadbandAccess commercial service offers businesses and consumers average data speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second (kbps).

"We continually strive to build-upon our industry-leading reputation for network reliability and quality," said Marni Walden, president-Southern California region, Verizon Wireless. "Our BroadbandAccess offering demonstrates that we're taking the wireless experience to a new level as we deliver industry-leading data speeds, rich graphic content, video and more to both the enterprise and consumer segments."

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 37.5 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  To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto