Verizon Wireless Invests Nearly $168 Million In New England Network In 2003

WOBURN, MA — Verizon Wireless today reported it invested nearly $168 million in 2003 to enhance its digital wireless network, in a continuing effort to provide the industry's most reliable wireless service for New England residents.

The company added 46 new cell sites in the New England region last year. Since 2001, the company has more than doubled its wireless network capacity in the New England Region to better serve customers' voice and data calls, and to introduce new data services like picture messaging and text messaging. During the fourth quarter of 2003, Verizon Wireless added a record 1.5 million net new customers across the country, more than any other wireless carrier has reported to date and now serves 37.5 million customers nationwide.

Customers across the region benefited from Verizon Wireless' network investment in new cell sites. In addition, the company added capacity to virtually every cell site in the New England region to successfully stay ahead of higher-than-expected customer demand in 2003.

"At the end of the day, what matters most to customers is being able to make a wireless call when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," said Bob Stott, president of the company's New England Region. "We have and will continue to invest heavily in our network so that more calls go through."

The company's reputation for having the most reliable national wireless network is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and women who inspired the company's national television advertising campaign.

They place more than 300,000 calls monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles nationwide in specially-equipped company-owned test vehicles containing $300,000 worth of sophisticated testing equipment. These tests consistently show calls on the Verizon Wireless network connect and stay connected more frequently than calls made on other carriers' networks.

Backup generators, which provide alternate power during commercial power outages, also were included in the company's capital program. Last summer during the worst power failure in U.S. history, all of the company's switches stayed in service and, even though calling volumes in blackout areas were four times heavier than normal, most calls were completed. Many customers contacted the company in the days following to say how pleased they were with their wireless service.

The New England Region's continuous network investment over the past three years is part of the company's annual average of $4 billion nationwide network improvement program to offer customers service on the most extensive wireless network in the U.S.

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