Wireless Broadband Network Lauches In Gainesville And Ocala, Florida

TAMPA, FL — Verizon Wireless has launched its high-speed wireless BroadbandAccess network in Gainesville and Ocala to better serve the concentration of tech-savvy residents and businesses here, including thousands of University of Florida students, faculty, researchers and medical professionals.

The technology allows customers to utilize the latest high-speed productivity and entertainment applications and services on their wireless phones, laptop computers and other wireless devices. This wireless broadband experience is made possible by the Verizon Wireless Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) technology, with typical connection speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps).

The multi-million dollar network expansion — which entailed installing high-tech wireless hardware and software in dozens of wireless transmission sites — brings high-speed wireless services to the core areas of Gainesville and Ocala. With this most recent expansion, an additional 510 square miles and 320,000 residents in north-central Florida now have access to wireless broadband service. The BroadbandAccess network also is available in other major markets throughout Florida.

The expansion is part of an ongoing network investment by Verizon Wireless that has totaled more than $1 billion in the state and $30 billion nationally over the past six years.

"The Gainesville/Ocala area is growing quickly — especially the university and medical communities here, which have such high-tech needs," said Mike Lanman, Verizon Wireless Florida region president. "We've invested heavily to be able to provide the entire area with access to the most advanced wireless services, such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST Music and video."

BroadbandAccess allows customers to connect wirelessly to the Internet, download e-mail and applications, and log into their corporate servers via their laptop at broadband speeds. The technology provides mobile workers full access, productivity and security, just as if they were at their desks and attached via a high-speed wired connection, but with the freedom of true mobility.

The Verizon Wireless V CAST service gives customers access to short video content, downloadable music, and cutting-edge 3D games on their mobile phones. With V CAST, customers can get short video content on-demand, including current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming. And music lovers with a V CAST Music-enabled phone are able to download and play their favorite songs — all while on-the-go.

In addition to allowing advanced applications such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST, the network upgrade in Gainesville and Ocala will further strengthen the Verizon Wireless network in the event of emergencies. The network stood up well to the extraordinary storm seasons of 2004 and 2005, and so far this year, while other communication networks sometimes suffered substantial disruptions.

"A strong, reliable wireless network is critical for the public in large-scale emergencies and every day," Lanman said. "Verizon Wireless will continue to take a leading role in public safety to serve residents, businesses and visitors locally and across the state."

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 e-mail at chuck.hamby@verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 56.7 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.