SIOUX FALLS, SD — In its ongoing effort to improve what is already the nation's best, most reliable network, Verizon Wireless activated 14 new digital cell sites across the state and invested $29 million in its South Dakota network during 2004. The company's continuing focus on network improvements in South Dakota will enable Verizon Wireless customers across the state to experience clearer reception and fewer dropped calls.
More than $11 million was invested to build new cell sites and improve the performance of existing sites. Enhancements to existing sites include antenna changes and additional capacity so that the cell sites can handle more customer calls simultaneously.
Verizon Wireless spent $1 million to place back-up batteries and permanent generators at existing cell sites to ensure network reliability during power outages. The company also opened a new, $20 million* state-of-the-art switching center in Sioux Falls (which processes all network calls in South Dakota) to meet future network capacity needs.
New Verizon Wireless cell sites activated in 2004 are located in the following areas:
Western South Dakota
- Badlands National Park Entrance: site along Interstate 90 near the Badlands National Park entrance improves coverage along the interstate between Wall and Kadoka.
- Blackhawk: site provides coverage and additional capacity along I-90 near Blackhawk and improves coverage north to Piedmont and south to Rapid City.
- Belle Fourche: site enhances coverage within the city limits and south along U.S. Highway 85 for travelers to Spearfish.
- Rapid City: site improves service in the western part of the city.
Central South Dakota
- Gregory: site provides new coverage and additional capacity within the city.
- Pierre: site provides new coverage north of Pierre and improved coverage within the city limits, including the state capital area.
- Vivian: site improves coverage along I-90 in Vivian and for travelers north along U.S. Highway 83.
Eastern South Dakota
- Canton: site provides new coverage within the city; east and west along U.S. Highway 18; north on County Road 135 and south on State Route 44.
- Sioux Falls: five new sites increase network capacity enabling more residents to use the network concurrently, and improve coverage in the following areas:
- Downtown: in the area of Seventh and Phillips streets.
- McKennan Hospital: near the hospital and the central Sioux Falls area.
- 69th Street and Cliff Avenue: in the southeast area of city.
- South Louise Avenue: along Interstate 29 south of the Interstate 229 junction.
- Sundowner Avenue and 57th Street: in the southwest residential area.
- Yankton: site improves coverage within Yankton and the surrounding area.
Nationally, Verizon Wireless invests about $1 billion every 90 days to improve and expand what is already the most reliable wireless network in the United States.
*Partial funding of the $20 million switching center occurred in 2003; nearly $17 million was invested in 2004.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data 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 www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.####