Verizon Wireless Opens New Switching Office On Long Island

FARLINGDALE, NY — Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, has opened a new digital switching office in Farmingdale to handle the growing number of wireless calls on Long Island. The new facility, completed late last year, is part of a $5.5 billion investment the company made in its nationwide wireless network in 2004 to update technology, improve call quality and offer a variety of advanced services such as BroadbandAccess, the company's high-speed wireless broadband Internet access service.

The new switching office serves wireless customers who live in and travel through Suffolk County, including those who spend summer vacations and weekends on the Island and rely on wireless phones and laptop computers with wireless aircards to stay in touch while away from home or the office.

Like all Verizon Wireless switching offices, the facility is equipped with back-up generators and batteries that keep the call-routing hub in operation in the event of a power failure or other service interruption.

"This switch is another huge investment to better serve our customers," said Charles Hand, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro area. "In 2005, we will invest more than $4 billion to enhance our network, including the build-out of our wireless broadband network.

"Ongoing investment in the network through new switches, cell sites and wireless data technology ensures we will continue to provide the high quality and reliable service customers expect from us today and in the future, and keep ahead of customer demand." Hand said the company plans to expand its broadband network, already available in Manhattan, at La Guardia and JFK International Airports, and some 30 markets across the country, to additional areas later this year. The Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) 3G network delivers the fastest, wide area wireless data experience in the nation today. The company's new V CAST service, which brings short content on-demand, 3D games and music videos to wireless phones from leading and respected news and entertainment sources and other innovative content providers, runs on this EV-DO network.

Demand for Verizon Wireless services continued during the first quarter as the company added 1.6 million new customers. Verizon Wireless now serves 45.5 million customers nationwide and is the nation's wireless leader in customer loyalty, based on customer retention and turnover rates announced publicly by the largest wireless providers, and in network reliability and performance. The company invests more than $1 billion every 90 days in its national wireless network, and has engineers across the country, including in New York, that collectively make over 300,000 test calls a month on the company's network and its competitors' networks, while driving more than 100,000 miles monthly in specially-equipped vehicles loaded with more than $300,000 worth of sophisticated testing equipment that replicates the customer's experience. The company also has a comprehensive phone lab that does extensive testing of all devices before they are approved for use on the network.

EDITOR'S NOTE: To set up a drivetest ridealong with a real-life engineer, or a tour of the phone lab, please call David Samberg at 845-365-7212.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 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 receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at