Verizon Wireless "Test Men" Fine Tune Florida Network As Boys of Summer Prepare For Spring Training

TAMPA, FL — To provide the best wireless service for Floridians and more than two million visitors who will attend major league baseball's spring training here this month, Verizon Wireless has added capacity to key cell sites and dispatched crews of real-life "test men" to fine-tune its network across the state. The Verizon Wireless all-digital network in Florida covers nearly 24,000 square miles and serves more than 15 million of the state's 16.5 million residents.

To prepare for this year's Grapefruit League schedule, Verizon Wireless network teams have enhanced coverage and increased capacity at cell sites near Legends Field in Tampa (New York Yankees), Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando (Atlanta Braves), City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers (Boston Red Sox), Dodgertown in Port St. Lucie, and others.  A total of 18 major league teams hold spring training workouts in Florida each year.

In 2003, Verizon Wireless invested more than $180 million in Florida to further expand and enhance its CDMA network — bringing the company's network investment in the state to nearly $600 million over the past three years alone. Each year, Verizon Wireless invests about a billion dollars every 90 days in its nationwide network, constantly improving and expanding what already is the most extensive wireless voice and data network in the United States.

The company's network testing and enhancements are performed by real-life test men and test women who inspired the company's national "Can you hear me now?" advertising campaign. They conduct more than 300,000 calls monthly on the Verizon Wireless network and other national wireless carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles across Florida in specially-equipped, company-owned quality test vehicles.*

"This Florida network also handles major events each year like the Daytona 500, World Series games, Super Bowls, college football games, and parades and festivals that draw up to 700,000 people," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. "So our customers have confidence in our service, and with wireless users now able to take their numbers when they switch carriers, a superior network is one of the best enticements we offer."

NationalAccess is one of the company's nationwide high-speed wireless data networks, providing fast wireless Internet service with bursts up to 144 kilobits per second (kbps). NationalAccess gives users full Internet access, intranet access and traditional email functionality via a laptop at unprecedented speeds for wireless access. Users can expect average speeds between 40 and 60 kbps, significantly higher than speeds being produced by competing technologies and comparable to, if not faster, than what PC users get when using a dial-up Internet service.

The newest high-speed data service from Verizon Wireless is BroadbandAccess, which provides average transfer speeds of 300-500 kbps. Verizon Wireless plans to roll out BroadbandAccess in key Florida markets in 2004, and throughout the rest of the state in 2005.

* Test Man Ride-Along ProgramThe specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test seven wireless providers, using a computerized program to generate phonically diverse "conversations." If you are interested in setting up an interview or ride-along with a local member of the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, contact Chuck Hamby at 813-615-4803 or via email at  

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