Verizon Wireless Expands Digital Coverage in Tampa, Florida

TAMPA, FL — In an effort to provide the most reliable wireless service for businesses, residents and visitors in the fast-growing Tampa Bay area, Verizon Wireless has expanded its digital network here by constructing new cell sites in downtown Tampa and historic Ybor City.

The Ybor City site is located in the heart of the area's entertainment district, providing stronger wireless coverage and additional call capacity for businesses, residents and visitors along Eighth Avenue, as well as throughout the nearby Channelside District. The new downtown site provides stronger in-building coverage for the many high-rise office buildings in the heart of downtown, north of the Crosstown Expressway and including the University of Tampa campus.

These enhanced, high-speed cell sites are part of an aggressive multi-billion dollar network investment by Verizon Wireless in Florida, designed to stay ahead of the growing demand here for wireless voice and data services like picture messaging and Internet access. In 2003, Verizon Wireless invested more than $180 million in Florida to further expand and enhance its all-digital network — bringing the company's network investment in the state to nearly $600 million over the past three years alone.

The company's most reliable network claim is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and test women who inspired the company's national "Can you hear me now? Good!" 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. *

"These new sites in Tampa allow us to meet the growing needs of local businesses and consumers for their voice calls and data applications, like our high-speed NationalAccess and picture messaging services," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless.

"And with wireless users now able to take their numbers when they switch carriers, our superior network has proven to be crucial to attracting and retaining customers," added Lanman.

Over the last three years, Verizon Wireless has invested about a billion dollars every 90 days -- more than $12 billion -- in its nationwide network, offering customers access to the most extensive wireless voice and data network in the United States.

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 will roll out BroadbandAccess in key Florida cities in 2004 and 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:VOD) (LSE:VOD). Find more information on the Web at  To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto