Montanans Talking more. Verizon Wireless Customers' Wireless Phone Usage Up An Average Of 32 Percent In 2006.

HELENA, MT — Verizon Wireless invested more than $30.8 million to enhance its Montana voice and data wireless network in 2006. That's an average of more than $84,000 per day spent to provide customers in the state with the reliable, high quality service they expect from Verizon Wireless.

The company's network investment in Montana now totals more than $125 million over the past five years.

The investment includes adding and updating cell sites to improve call quality and enable customers to make calls. The multi-million dollar investment also includes the expansion of the company's Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) broadband wireless data network to several Montana communities.

More specifically the network investments made last year in Montana are delivering:

Expanded coverage and call capacity

  • Key new cell sites throughout the state, including those that improved coverage in Anaconda, Billings, Bozeman, Frenchtown, Logan, Missoula and West Bank.

Most reliable network in the nation

  • Deployment of a mobile cell site near Alberton last summer to support firefighters and other emergency crews battling fires in western Montana.
  • Additional equipment to provide backup power to keep cell sites on the air during weather-related emergencies.

New wireless technologies

  • Customers in Billings, Helena and Missoula, including the lower Flathead Valley and Big Arm, can now access high-speed wireless Internet, e-mail, mobile music and more. The high speed data network that enables both BroadbandAccess and V CAST services launched in those communities in December.
  • Customers also have access to innovative new services based on Global Positioning System (GPS) data. ChaperoneSMgives parents new tools to help identify the whereabouts of phones they've given to their young children. VZ NavigatorSM provides wireless turn-by-turn driving directions, maps and addresses. And Field Force Manager allows businesses to map the location of field employees and jobs in near real-time.

The company has invested $35 billion in the last seven years — $5 billion on average every year since the company was formed — to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. Network investment for 2007 is already underway.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 59 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 65,000 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