Wireless Broadband Speeds Into Central Illinois, Offers Convenient Connectivity For Residents And Businesses

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Verizon Wireless has expanded the national rollout of its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) wide-area network to the Springfield-Decatur, Illinois, region.

The launch of the wireless broadband network means Verizon Wireless customers in this key central Illinois region can access the company's high-speed business and entertainment network while traveling in Springfield and Decatur, and in towns along U.S. Interstate I-72 between the two cities. As a result, area customers are now able to enjoy two prime services: BroadbandAccess, the company's high-speed wireless broadband network geared toward mobile professionals and business customers, with average user speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps); and V CAST, a consumer-oriented multimedia service that offers music and short content on demand, including cutting-edge 3D games, music videos, news, weather, sports and more.

The multi-million dollar expansion - which entailed installing high-tech wireless hardware and software in wireless transmission sites throughout the region - is part of an ongoing network investment by Verizon Wireless that has totaled $30 billion nationally over the past six years. More than $902 million of this investment has been spent in Illinois.

"The Springfield-Decatur corridor is a vital Midwest market with dynamic, tech-savvy businesses and consumers," said T.J. Fox, president — Illinois/Wisconsin Region, Verizon Wireless. "The launch of our broadband network here will provide access to the very latest wireless technology and services such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST Music and videos."

Fox said the network expansion will equip Verizon Wireless' business customers to experience a truly untethered mobile office experience, enabling them to wirelessly access their calendars, the Internet, e-mail and critical business information residing behind their companies' firewalls. With the added benefit of V CAST, central Illinois consumers also now have access to the most comprehensive selection of downloadable music, high-quality videos and the coolest 3D games found anywhere, he noted.

Verizon Wireless was the first national wireless provider to commercially launch a high-speed wireless broadband network in the United States. Springfield-Decatur and its 268,000 residents is the latest metropolitan market to be added to Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network coverage area, now available to more than half the nation's population. Verizon Wireless' broadband network was first introduced in Illinois in Chicagoland in January 2005 and the metro-east portions of St. Louis in June 2005.

In addition to enabling advanced applications such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST, the network upgrade in central Illinois will further strengthen the Verizon Wireless network in the event of emergencies. The network performed flawlessly within the first 24 hours after two F-2 tornadoes struck Springfield in March 2006, an example of the company's commitment to providing the nation's most reliable network. The EV-DO network upgrade provides a system redundancy, which can be particularly valuable during emergency situations.

"We've seen here in central Illinois that a strong, reliable wireless network plays a priceless role in public safety in large-scale emergencies and everyday, critical events," Fox said. "Verizon Wireless will continue to heavily invest in the region to serve residents, businesses and visitors."

BroadbandAccess BroadbandAccess provides mobile workers full access to their corporate information as if they were attached to the information via a high-speed wired connection, but with the freedom of true mobility. Developed with a range of users in mind, the service enables large enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses and mobile professionals-including public safety users, legislative decision makers and government leaders-to conduct business anytime, anywhere in the BroadbandAccess coverage area via a secure, true high-speed data connection.

Business customers can access information when they are on the road-at customer locations, at job sites or in taxis-with BroadbandAccess. With BroadbandAccess, customers can download a 1 megabyte e-mail attachment (for example, a small PowerPoint® presentation or large PDF file) or receive three digital pictures (each 400 x 600 pixels) in less than 20 seconds. Also, customers who travel outside a BroadbandAccess coverage area with an EV-DO device will switch seamlessly to Verizon Wireless' existing NationalAccess network, in which customers experience average data transmission speeds between 60 and 80 kbps with bursts up to 144 kbps.

"Our BroadbandAccess service gives our enterprise customers three key advantages in wireless communication-speed, mobility and security," said Fox. "With that comes an increase in productivity and bottom-line business benefits."

V CAST The company's high-speed network also enables its V CAST multimedia services, offering customers the ability to download full song tracks, play cutting-edge 3D games and stream video clips straight to the handset with top transmission speeds. With content updated daily, customers can watch dozens of broadcasts, from breaking news and weather to sports highlights, the hottest entertainment clips and more.

V CAST Music, available to customers with V CAST Music-enabled handsets, is the world's most comprehensive, over-the-air mobile music download service. Customers with V CAST Music can download song tracks directly to their Verizon Wireless handsets or to PCs equipped with Windows® XP operating software. The V CAST Music on demand service includes access to a catalog of more than 1.4 million songs.

Coverage BroadbandAccess and V CAST coverage spans approximately 1,000 square miles around the cities of Springfield and Decatur and surrounding communities, and covers routes between them along U.S. Interstate 72. Nearby towns located north or south of this stretch of I-72 - including Auburn, Boody, Buffalo, Chatham, Dalton City, Harristown, Macon, Mt. Zion Oreana, Riverton, Rochester, Sherman and Warrensburg - are within the coverage area.

Product Offering BroadbandAccess is available for $79.99 monthly access with a new one- or two-year customer agreement. For a limited time, Verizon Wireless customers with an existing voice plan can receive unlimited BroadbandAccess service for $59.99 monthly access. A new two-year customer agreement is required. BroadbandAccess service also is available as an integrated option on select notebook computers, including laptops from Dell, Lenovo, HP and Toshiba.

Wireless PC Cards for BroadbandAccess customers include the Verizon Wireless PC 5740, Verizon Wireless V620 and Kyocera KPC 650. A new Novatel Wireless V640 card is available for laptop owners with ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 slots rather than a traditional PCMCIA slot.

In addition, several handsets have the ability to "tether" to a laptop's USB port, with the purchase of a Mobile Office Kit. BroadbandAccess-powered PDAs offered by Verizon Wireless include the Motorola QTM, the Palm® TreoTM 700w and the Palm Treo 700p. Popular BlackBerry® options include the new 8703e, the 7250 and 7130e.

To access V CAST Music, video and games, customers need a V CAST-enabled handset and must be on a Verizon Wireless calling plan. Currently, nearly 20 music capable handsets are available, including the popular Chocolate by LG, the Motorola RAZR V3m and MOTOKRZR K1m.

Customers with a V CAST Music-enabled handset and a calling plan can pay as they go to download songs directly onto their phone for $1.99 per song plus airtime, download songs to their PC for as little as $0.99, and transfer their existing compatible digital music collection to their V CAST Music-enabled handset or memory card for free from their PC. Purchases from the handset include two copies of every song - one for the handset, one for the PC.

For more information, about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a local Verizon Wireless Communications Store or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., 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