The Best of Old and New Meet in Saint Augustine, Florida

SAINT AUGUSTINE, FL — To provide the most modern wireless technology and reliable service for residents, visitors and businesses in America's oldest city, while still preserving the area's historic architectural integrity, Verizon Wireless has constructed an advanced digital "stealth" cell site in downtown Saint Augustine.

The new site, located on the roof of the centuries-old Wachovia Bank building in the heart of the city's historic district, features special design accents, placement and paint scheme to match the building and to blend into the area's unique architectural style. The site processes voice and wireless data calls utilizing the Verizon Wireless advanced high-speed Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) technology and is designed to provide enhanced coverage throughout the city's busy downtown district.

"This new site in old Saint Augustine provides our customers the network reliability they have come to expect from Verizon Wireless, with the added benefit of maintaining the area's historic charm," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "We are thrilled that we are able to stay ahead of the area's growing wireless needs in this unique way."

The newest high-speed data services from Verizon Wireless that run on the EV-DO network are V CAST, which offers streaming video content via wireless phones, and BroadbandAccess, which provides data users with wireless broadband transfer speeds of 400-700 kbps. Verizon Wireless has already rolled out BroadbandAccess and V CAST in Jacksonville and other Florida markets, including Tampa Bay, South Florida, Orlando and Tallahassee.

The new site and EV-DO service are part of Verizon Wireless' continuing growth and investment in Florida. In 2005, the company spent more than $250 million in the state to further expand and enhance its all-digital network.

This aggressive network investment — now totaling more than $1 billion during the past five years in Florida alone — ensures that Verizon Wireless will continue to stay ahead of growing demand for wireless voice and data services like Picture Messaging and Internet access throughout the state. Additionally, these improvements fortify Verizon's network to ensure operations during circumstances such as the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005.

The Verizon Wireless network in Florida withstood the impact of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 and remained on-air while landlines and other wireless providers faltered. In Florida, nearly 80 percent of all Verizon Wireless sites have their own back-up generator — in addition to battery power — to keep the network running even when the power supply is interrupted.

Florida's 2006 hurricane season officially begins on June 1.

About Verizon Wireless' Network InvestmentOver the last four years, Verizon Wireless has invested about a billion dollars every 90 days — more than $16 billion — in its nationwide network, offering customers access to the most extensive wireless voice and data network in the United States. Local investment makes it possible to offer Florida customers the most reliable service available on the nation's largest wireless network. 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 "Can you hear me now? Good!®" advertising campaign. They conduct more than 300,000 calls monthly on the Verizon Wireless network and other national wireless carriers' networks while traveling over 150,000 miles across Florida in specially-equipped, company-owned quality test vehicles.

* 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" and 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, please contact Chuck Hamby at 813-615-4803 or via email at  

About Verizon WirelessVerizon 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 To receive broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at