Verizon Wireless Expands Wireless Broadband Network To Include Hammond, Louisiana

HAMMOND, LA — Verizon Wireless announced today it has expanded its wireless broadband network to cover Hammond, Louisiana allowing area customers to utilize the latest high-speed business and entertainment services on their wireless phones, laptop computers and other wireless devices.

The expansion — which entailed installing high-tech wireless hardware and software in wireless transmission sites throughout the area — extends the Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess network on the North Shore to include Hammond. Hardware and software upgrades are complete, the system has been tested, and area residents now may enjoy wireless broadband service on the nation's most reliable network.

Verizon Wireless launched wireless broadband coverage in New Orleans in early 2004 and expanded the wireless broadband coverage area to include most of the North Shore in June of 2005. The expansion of the wireless broadband network into Hammond brings a variety of new broadband-enabled products and services to businesses and consumers in the area.

"The Hammond area is an important, fast-growing market with dynamic, tech-savvy businesses and consumers," said Katherine Greene, Verizon Wireless region president. "The expansion of our broadband network here will provide access to the very latest wireless technology and services such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST Music and video."

The company invests more than $1 billion in its network every quarter with over $6 billion invested in 2006 alone. The company has invested more than $35 billion nationwide over the last six years — to ensure network reliability and expanded coverage, capacity and capabilities.

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.

This wireless broadband experience is made possible by the Verizon Wireless EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) technology, with typical connection speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps).

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 Hammond will further strengthen the Verizon Wireless network in the event of emergencies. The network stood up well to the extraordinary storm season of 2005 while other communication networks often suffered substantial disruptions.

"We've seen here in the Gulf Coast that a strong, reliable wireless network plays a priceless role in public safety in large-scale emergencies and every day life," Greene said. "Verizon Wireless will continue to heavily invest here to serve residents, businesses and visitors locally and across the Gulf Coast."

Verizon Wireless was the first national wireless provider to commercially launch a high-speed wireless broadband network in the United States. Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network coverage area now covers more than 200 million people.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 57 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 60,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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