Verizon Wireless Continues to Make Preparations and Work With Smaller Carriers to Help Prepare Industry for May 24 National Local Number Portability Deadline

BEDMINSTER, NJ — On May 24, 2004, Americans from coast to coast can switch their wireless service provider without changing their telephone numbers. Known as local number portability (LNP), this event requires wireless service providers to cooperate for the good of the customer — from the national wireless carriers to the smaller regional players in the industry. Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, has been working diligently for nearly two years to bring number portability to business and individual consumers, and has incorporated lessons learned from working with the large wireless carriers for the November 2003 initial rollout of LNP in the top 100 markets into its preparedness planning for May 24, 2004. And while all of the large service providers have been actively switching customers since November 2003, Verizon Wireless has been working with the smaller regional wireless service providers to help ensure they too are prepared to provide easy, automatic barrier-free porting.

Verizon Wireless has led the industry in demonstrating a commitment to ensuring quick and easy barrier-free porting for customers on several fronts by installing the necessary technology infrastructure to enable porting, working with other service providers to make it easy and quick for customers to port, investing in in-depth training of customer service call center and Communications Store personnel, and enhancing the Verizon Wireless Web site with detailed information about LNP and how it works. Verizon Wireless has also developed an infrastructure to support all billing and point of sales systems and integrated LNP into all of its business processes.

From individual customers wanting to switch to the nation's leading wireless service provider, to large business customers ready to switch thousands of lines, Verizon Wireless is ready to facilitate the porting process. The company has specialized teams in place to ensure large businesses making the switch to the nation's largest and most reliable wireless network have a custom plan to execute large-scale porting for employees at a single site or multiple locations throughout the nation.

An integrated project team has been working together for more than two years to identify and upgrade every aspect of the company's operations to ensure that the Verizon Wireless network continues to be the most reliable network in the country. Each of the established systems — from billing to customer service to activation and call routing — has been readied and is prepared to handle requests from consumer and business customers wanting to switch their service provider.

For the past year, the company has trained its 41,000 employees, including nearly 1,000 employees in its Customer Service Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on the porting process so that all customers porting into or out of Verizon Wireless will have a consistent experience. Each of the employees at the Murfreesboro Customer Service Center, the hub of the company's porting activities, are specialists in the switching process and will track porting requests, troubleshoot any issues with a porting request and call customers to resolve any hiccups in the porting process.

"As evidenced during the first phase of number portability in November 2003, Verizon Wireless has led the industry in demonstrating a commitment to ensuring barrier-free porting for customers," said Lowell McAdam, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Verizon Wireless. "No matter where a customer lives — a major urban city or small rural town — or who they have wireless service from, beginning on May 24 they can change wireless service providers while keeping their phone numbers."

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 39 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