Verizon Wireless Completes $15 Million Enhancement To Montana Network During 2004

MISSOULA, MT — Verizon Wireless announced today it completed a $15 million investment in 2004 to enhance the company's digital network in Montana by updating transmission sites and other technology to improve call quality, increase coverage areas and enable a variety of advanced wireless data services, including multi-media messaging.

With major enhancements scheduled to continue through 2005, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $75 million over a three-year period in Montana network upgrades alone.

"We will continue to invest significantly in our network to serve Montana customers. Our mission is to deliver the most reliable wireless network in the state, with the most advanced capabilities. Montana is an especially important market to us given the high demand for the latest wireless technology," said Verizon Wireless Regional President Jeff Mango.

Network upgrade highlights in Montana for 2004 include:

  • Enhancements that expanded the company's call capacity by 70 percent in the state, enabling the network to handle even more simultaneous voice and data calls. Network usage in Montana increased more than 70 percent in 2004 over 2003.

  • Multiple additional cell sites in the state, which, for example, improved coverage and capacity in Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Basin, Laurel, Kalispell and other areas in the state.

  • Upgrades to switching centers in Helena enhanced call capacity and network reliability to the Montana network.

The company's 'most reliable network' claim is based on network studies performed by the real-life test men and test women who inspired the company's national advertising campaign. These test men and women are Verizon Wireless engineers who make more than 300,000 test calls monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national wireless carriers' networks while they travel more than 100,000 miles nationwide in specially-equipped, company-owned test vehicles.

Verizon Wireless' network reliability features include battery back-up power at all facilities as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations. The company also operates a fleet of mobile generators and temporary cell sites, or cells-on-wheels, ready for deployment.

Test Man Ride-Along ProgramThe specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test seven wireless providers, using a computerized program to generate phonically diverse "conversations" as well as data transmissions. Members of the media who are interested in setting up an interview ride-along with a local member of the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, are invited to contact Bob Kelley at 303-694-8990 or email  

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 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