Homewood Becomes Home Of The Largest Verizon Wireless Store In Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Verizon Wireless, the nation's most reliable wireless network, announces the opening of its newest location in Alabama. The new store, located in the Wildwood Shopping Centre at 225 State Farm Parkway, is open for business and will hold its official grand opening ceremony on Friday, January 28 at 11:00 a.m. The Mayor of Homewood, the Honorable Barry McCulley, and representatives from the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Homewood Chamber of Commerce will attend the grand opening celebration.

The Homewood store is the largest Verizon Wireless Communications Store in the state and continues the company's commitment to meet the growing demand for wireless products and services, and to make wireless shopping more convenient for customers. "We are always focused on meeting the needs of our customers and enhancing their overall experience with Verizon Wireless," said Teri Pugh, District Manager for Verizon Wireless — Central Alabama. "The Wildwood location provides our customers with increased convenience, access to our superior voice and data products and services and our knowledgeable sales staff."

"Verizon Wireless invests over $1billion in its network every 90-days," said Jim McGean, President — Alabama/Georgia Region, Verizon Wireless. "Because so many Alabama residents are choosing Verizon Wireless, we will continue to invest in our network in 2005 to best serve our consumer and business customers who rely on our network for wireless calls, text messages, e-mail and other data applications."

As part of the stores' grand opening celebration, Verizon Wireless will present a $3,000 grant to the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The grant is provided through HopeLineSM — Verizon Wireless' exclusive nationwide phone recycling program that distributes previously owned wireless phones to victims of domestic violence, supports non-profit domestic violence advocacy groups and provides an environmentally safe method for recycling phones. No-longer-used phones are collected, and either recycled or sold for parts, with wireless phones and/or monetary donations benefiting domestic violence agencies and victims. Since 2001, the company has collected more than 2 million wireless phones nationwide and donated over $3.7 million in monetary and other contributions to domestic violence shelters and advocacy groups.

Verizon Wireless will celebrate its grand opening all weekend with exciting in-store events. The company will host a free fingerprinting session for children in conjunction with the Homewood Police Department on Friday, January 28, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the store to create a permanent record on file of their prints. These records have proven to save lives in the case of lost or kidnapped children.

In addition to the free fingerprinting session, Verizon Wireless will continue its safety theme with a visit from the Safe America, a national non-profit safety organization that focuses on youth safety, homeland security, and transportation safety. Safe America's teen driving mobile will be at the Verizon Wireless store on Saturday, January 29, from Noon to 4 p.m. The unit will provide teens with a behind-the-wheel driving experience on a specialized simulator.

"We are very excited to celebrate the opening of our new Homewood store," said Pugh. "Homewood is a thriving market for our company, and we are committed to serving our customers here and in the greater Birmingham area."

The Wildwood store is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The telephone number is (205) 290-0134. Verizon Wireless Communications Stores offer a premier line of digital wireless phones in all price ranges, data services and accessories. The Homewood Communications Store is one of more than 20 Verizon Wireless retail locations in Alabama.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 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 on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.