HOUSTON, TX — Continuing to build on its strategy to provide its customers superior wireless services in the United States, Verizon Wireless announced today the launch of its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) wide-area network in the Houston metropolitan area. Verizon Wireless' 3G EV-DO network enables BroadbandAccess the fastest wide-area wireless Internet access service available in the nation and will enable VCAST, the nation's first 3G wireless multimedia service for consumers, beginning on February 1, 2005. The company made both announcements today from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Verizon Wireless' upgraded 3G EV-DO network is the fastest, most widely-available wireless data network in the nation today.
Starting February 1, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to use new handsets to access VCAST's video on-demand service, viewing current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming. They will also be able to download and play cutting-edge three-dimensional games on powerful new handsets. Customers will be able to watch music videos and short programs specifically designed for mobile phones and other video applications on their handsets.
"The launch of VCAST provides Verizon Wireless customers in Houston with the latest and greatest in mobile wireless data technology, enabling them to stay connected, informed and entertained via their wireless phone, 24 hours a day seven days a week," said Katherine Greene, Houston/Gulf Coast regional president for Verizon Wireless.
Customers in Houston will be able to access VCAST through the Verizon Wireless Get It Now® virtual store on select new Verizon Wireless handsets, including the LG VX8000. When the service is available on February 1, customers can expect video and games from a variety of familiar and popular sources, including new content and hot new short programs designed specifically for mobile phones.
For $15.00 monthly access in addition to their regular Verizon Wireless calling plan, VCAST customers in Houston get unlimited access to a wide array of more than 300 daily updated videos from leading content providers. Verizon Wireless VCAST customers also receive unlimited browsing of Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web 2.0 news and information service. In addition, customers can choose from premium content, available for an additional cost, that includes 3-D games, music videos and other premium channels.
VCAST's array of hot new multimedia programming is located in the Get It Now virtual store customers can access video from favorite news, sports and entertainment providers in the getFLIX shopping aisle and check out new cutting-edge 3-D games in the getGAMES aisle. VCAST also gives customers unlimited access to browse and view applications in the other familiar Get It Now shopping aisles such as getTONES and getGOING.
The Verizon Wireless EV-DO 3G network initially launched commercially more than one year ago with BroadbandAccess wireless Internet access service for business customers and mobile professionals. BroadbandAccess boasts average user speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second (kbps), and enables users to remain productive and connected whether they're at home, a meeting across town or on the road. BroadbandAccess customers can connect via laptop to the Internet, corporate intranet, email and attachments all at high speed.
In addition to the Houston market, the company also announced today its 3G EV-DO network is now available in Chicago; Boston; Phoenix; Cincinnati; Orlando, FL; Columbus and Dayton, OH; Providence, RI; Jacksonville, FL; Hartford and New Haven, CT. Verizon Wireless added these locations to its existing 20 markets with 3G EV-DO network coverage. In addition, Verizon Wireless is expanding its existing 3G EV-DO network in the following markets: New York; Newark, NJ; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Miami, Tampa and West Palm Beach, FL; Baltimore, MD; Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee, WI. Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 3G EV-DO network to cover 150 million Americans by the end of 2005.
For more information Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
(EDITORS: Broadcast-quality B-roll footage about VCAST and BroadbandAccess is available online. Log on to www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless to preview and request video segments, which can be received in newsrooms digitally, by tape or via satellite.)
As of Friday, January 7, 2005, Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network and its BroadbandAccess service will be available in the following major metropolitan areas. VCAST will be available beginning February 1, 2005:
- Austin, TX
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas/Ft. Worth
- Dayton, OH
- Hartford, CT
- Jacksonville, FL
- Kansas City, KS/MO
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Madison, WI
- Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL
- New Haven, CT
- New Orleans
- New York/Newark, NJ
- Orlando, FL
- Providence, RI
- San Diego
- Tampa, FL
- Washington, D.C.
- West Palm Beach, FL
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 preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: materially adverse changes in economic conditions in the markets served by us, an adverse change in the ratings afforded our debt securities or those of Verizon Communications by nationally accredited ratings organizations, the effects of the substantial competition that exists in our markets, which has been intensifying, and which may intensify further as a result of local number portability regulations that allow wireless customers to retain their phone numbers when switching wireless service providers, our ability to obtain sufficient financing to satisfy our substantial capital requirements, including to fund capital expenditures, debt repayment and distributions to our owners, our ability to obtain sufficient spectrum licenses, particularly in our most densely populated areas, our ability to develop future business opportunities, including wireless data services, and to continue to adapt to the changing conditions in the wireless industry, our ability to receive satisfactory service from our key vendors and suppliers, our ability to generate additional subscribers, with acceptable levels of churn, from resellers and distributors of our service, material changes in available technology, and technology substitution that could impact the popularity and usage of our technology, our continued provision of satisfactory service to our subscribers at an acceptable cost, in order to reduce churn, the impact of continued unionization efforts with respect to our employees, regulatory developments, including new regulations that could increase our cost of doing business or reduce demand for our services, developments in connection with existing or future litigation, and changes in our accounting assumptions that regulatory agencies, including the SEC, may require or that result from changes in the accounting rules or their application, which could result in an impact on earnings.####