Tennessee Sees Wireless Network Improvements In 2005 With Verizon Wireless' $150 Million Investment

NASHVILLE, TN — Verizon Wireless today announced the investment of $150 million in 2005 to enhance and improve the company's voice and data wireless network in Tennessee. The investment included adding and updating cell sites and other technologies to improve call quality, increase coverage areas and allow a variety of advanced services such as BroadbandAccess, V CAST, TXT and Picture Messaging and other applications.

During the past year, specific regions across the state have benefited from increased service.

  • In East Tennessee, towers have been added near Roan Mountain and Pigeon Forge, two popular tourist destinations. Coverage has also been added at Lee University in Cleveland, to ensure better communication for students and faculty, as well as other members of the growing town.

  • In Middle Tennessee, coverage was enhanced at Prime Outlets in Lebanon just in time for the holiday rush. Students and sports fans at University of Tennessee at Martin have been able to connect to family and fellow Skyhawk fans throughout the academic year and athletic seasons in 2005 thanks to added coverage near the campus. Adelphia Coliseum and Gaylord Entertainment Center, venues for professional football and hockey teams, as well as numerous music events, now receive additional coverage from local towers.

  • In West Tennessee, Covington Hospital in Memphis recently received added coverage that benefits emergency personnel and hospital staff. Commuters to and from Arkansas have also found new global service redirection, enhancing the quality of their communication. Patrons and employees of casinos across the state line will also experience enhanced coverage when calling from the Sam's Town area, thanks to the growing investments in network coverage.

The network investment, which totals more than $230 million in the Volunteer state over the past two years, has also been the key to maintaining strong coverage during tornadoes and other emergencies across the state.

"It takes significant investment in order to offer our customers the nation's most reliable network," said Jerry Fountain, Verizon Wireless Carolinas/Tennessee region president. "The company has regularly invested more than $4 billion nationally each year since its inception — and more than $5.5 billion last year alone — to expand and upgrade our network."

The company's real-life test men and women are Verizon Wireless engineers who make more than 3.5 million test calls nationwide on Verizon Wireless' and other wireless carriers' networks, riding in specially-equipped, company-owned test vehicles and traveling more than one million miles a year -- about half the distance from the earth to the moon. In fact, the company's 'most reliable wireless network in the nation' claim is based on these network studies.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products, coverage areas and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.  

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 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.  

EDITORS NOTE: Test Man Ride-Along Program for the News Media Specially-equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test the Verizon Wireless network as well as the networks of as many as seven other wireless providers, using a mobile laptop computer to generate phonically diverse "conversations." If one of your reporters is interested in setting up an interview or ride-along test drive with your locally-based Verizon Wireless test man or woman, please contact Ansley Welchel at 864-233-3776, ext. 12.