Verizon Wireless Completes $590 Million Enhancement To California Network During 2004

IRVINE, CA — Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, announced today it completed a nearly $590 million investment in its network in California in 2004 to increase coverage areas, add call capacity, improve call quality and launch a variety of advanced services such as wireless broadband computing, text and video messaging and other applications. With major enhancements scheduled in 2005, Verizon Wireless has already invested nearly $3 billion in network upgrades in California since the company was formed in mid-2000.

"While our network investment to date is huge, we will continue to invest in our network to serve California customers. Our mission is to keep delivering the most reliable wireless network in the state, with the most advanced capabilities. California is an especially important market to us given its rapid growth, tech-savvy businesses and high demand for the latest wireless technology," said Marni Walden, Southern California region president.

Network highlights for 2004 include:

  • New and/or improved coverage and increased call capacity in a number of communities and points of interest, including:

    • Santa Anita Race Track in Los Angeles County

    • Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County

    • Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

    • Soak City water park in Palm Springs

    • Point Mugu Air Station

    • La Costa Country Club and Spa in San Diego County

    • Lake Arrowhead-area ski resorts

    • Big Bear-area ski resorts

    • Biola University in Orange County

    • Valley View Indian Casino in San Diego County

  • New cell sites added across the state in 2004 increased the company's total coverage area in California to nearly 53,000 square miles.

  • Enhancements expanded the company's call capacity by 12 percent in California, enabling the network to handle even more simultaneous voice and data calls.

  • Network usage in California increased more than 43 percent in 2004 over 2003.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Network cell site images are available at

  • The company expanded BroadbandAccess service to nearly all of Los Angeles county and portions of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. BroadbandAccess, now covering nearly 4,400 square miles of southern California, is the fastest wide-area commercially available wireless Internet access service available in the nation with typical user download speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second (kbps).

  • The company's wireless network in southern California has been made increasingly reliable by a series of enhancements that further strengthen the network's survivability in the event of a disaster, including: the recent integration of additional microwave cell sites to its standard network, so that it now represents the largest microwave deployment in the western United States; the linking of its switching stations by more than 800 miles of fiber optic cable; the installation of backup battery power on cell sites; and, the installation of diesel-powered generators at all switching stations and many cell sites.

The company's 'most reliable network' claim is based on network studies performed by 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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Test Man Ride-Along Program. The 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 or ride-along with a local member of the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women should call Ken Muche at (949) 286-8193.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the most reliable nationwide 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