Verizon Wireless Completes $40 Million Network Facility To Improve Wireless Call Service, Capacity In Central Florida

ORLANDO, FL — Verizon Wireless has completed construction of a $40 million switching facility in Orlando to improve wireless phone services and expand network capacity for customers throughout Central Florida.

Network technicians currently are preparing to shift all wireless traffic currently handled out of the company's existing facility in Maitland to the new switching facility. The "cut over" — which will be seamless for customers — is scheduled for later this year.

The high-tech Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) will serve as the main call- processing hub for the central portion of Florida stretching east from Polk County to Daytona Beach, and south to Melbourne. The advanced technology deployed at the new facility is designed to more efficiently receive and route all wireless voice and data calls on the Verizon Wireless digital network in the region.

The new MTSO can handle tens of millions of calls and wireless data transmissions (photos and TXT Messages, mobile music downloads, emails, wireless internet access and more) each day, with the capacity for handling even more wireless traffic in the future.

"This new state-of-the-art switching center will enable our customers in Central Florida and throughout the state to fully enjoy the benefits of the best wireless network in the nation," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. "We will continue to stay ahead of the exploding demand for wireless voice and data communications in this rapidly growing region."

Construction on the 36,000-square-foot facility began in 2005. The MTSO, which is three times as large as the existing switch, will serve as the company's emergency operations center serving central Florida, and already is home to a fleet of COWs (cell sites on wheels) and portable generators for use during and after significant events like hurricanes.

The structure is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and is equipped with large-scale back-up power generation, further enhancing the everyday and emergency strength of the Verizon Wireless network. The network stood up to the extraordinary storm seasons of 2004 and 2005 while other communication networks often were adversely impacted.

"A strong, reliable wireless network plays an important part in public safety in large emergencies and every day here in Florida," Lanman said. "Verizon Wireless will continue to heavily invest with technology such as this new Orlando switch, and to work hard to serve residents and visitors across the state."

The new facility is part of a network investment topping more than $1 billion in Florida and $30 billion nationally over the past 6 years.

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" 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  

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