Metro Chicagoans to Receive Increased Reliability in Wireless Phone Service During Emergencies

CHICAGO, IL — With an eye on potential power outages, the unpredictable spring weather and other unforeseen emergencies, Verizon Wireless will install 140 backup generators at new and existing cell sites throughout Chicagoland and Illinois in 2004 to ensure network functionality during times of crisis.

"We're investing $7 million to give customers peace of mind that their wireless phones will work during emergencies," said Tracy Nolan, president - Illinois/Wisconsin Region, Verizon Wireless. "Our key sites already have permanent generators. Having permanent backup generators as well, as opposed to portable backup generators, is part of Verizon Wireless' continued focus on network reliability and will serve to further reinforce our robust network across the state."

During the crippling power outage along the East Coast and in parts of the Midwest in August 2003, Verizon Wireless' network remained operational because many of the company's cell sites already had permanent generators.

"Our Illinois' investment is a direct extension of our commitment to provide the best nationwide network," Nolan continued. "We want our customers to know they can depend on their phones not only in times of normalcy, but also in times of emergency."

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