SCHAUMBURG, IL — Verizon Wireless announced today it has invested nearly $146 million in 2006 to enhance its digital network in Illinois. The enhancements included building new cell sites and upgrading existing cell sites, increasing coverage area, and expanding the high-speed wireless broadband network to many new markets.
"Network reliability is the No. 1 reason that customers choose and stay with Verizon Wireless," said T.J. Fox, presidentIllinois/Wisconsin region, Verizon Wireless. "Getting through on the first try and maintaining a connection are important to our customers. We continue to optimize our network so that it remains dependable."
Verizon Wireless has invested $818 million over the past five years on improvements to its network in Illinois, including the following upgrades made in 2006:
- Sixty-four new cell sites were activated statewide to improve network coverage and capacity, enabling more customers to use their phones concurrently to make calls; send and receive e-mail and TXT, Picture and Video Messages; and download games and Ring Tones while enjoying clearer reception and fewer dropped calls.
- Equipment on 570 existing cell sites throughout the state was upgraded.
- Ninety-three permanent backup generators were installed at Illinois cell sites to ensure network functionality during times of crisis.
- The company expanded its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third-generation (3G) wide-area network to Decatur, Springfield and Rock Island/Moline, Ill. Additionally, the company built out its current coverage of Chicago. The EV-DO network enables two new services for Verizon Wireless customers:
- BroadbandAccess, geared toward mobile professionals and business customers, is the company's high-speed wireless service, offering these customers speed, mobility and security with average user speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps).
- V CAST is a consumer-oriented multimedia service that offers music and short content on demand, including cutting-edge 3D games, music videos, news, weather and sports.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 57 million customers. The largest U.S. 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 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.####