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Verizon Wireless Invested Millions in 2003 To Enhance Its Digital Network in Illinois

CHICAGO, IL — Verizon Wireless today reported it invested a total of $190 million in 2003 to build out and upgrade its digital network in Illinois. The sizeable investment signals the company's focus on extending and maintaining its dominance as the nation's leading wireless service provider.

"In 2003, we added 19 new cell sites in Illinois, and increased our wireless network capacity by approximately 70 percent in the state," said Tracy Nolan, president — Illinois/Wisconsin Region, Verizon Wireless. "We will continue investing heavily in our network because it's the centerpiece of our customer promise — the most reliable and expansive network."

The $190 million investment brings to $521 million the amount Verizon Wireless has spent since 2000 to enhance its digital network in Illinois. Customers residing in or traveling through Illinois benefit from network improvements by experiencing greater call clarity, and the ability to utilize newer data services and technologies such as picture messaging, text messaging and Internet access — all from a wireless handset. 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.

In addition to handling the day-to-day wireless needs of its customers, the Verizon Wireless network handles the increased communications traffic arising from major events taking place around the state, including trade shows at McCormick Place, sporting events, the State Fair, special museum exhibits, the Auto Show and other events occurring throughout the state.

Verizon Wireless' 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, "Can you hear me now?" In total, the testers place more than 300,000 calls monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national carriers' networks while traveling more than 100,000 miles nationwide — including Illinois — in special vehicles equipped with sophisticated testing equipment. Their work shows that calls on the Verizon Wireless Network connect and stay connected more frequently than do calls on other carriers' networks.

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