BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless announced today that the nation's most reliable wireless network stands ready for the upcoming 2007 hurricane season, which officially starts June 1. Verizon Wireless has continued the significant preparations and investments that have kept its network strong, even through the destructive storms of past years, while other communication networks often were adversely impacted.
"With the first tropical storm of the season already spinning off our coast last week last week even before the official start of hurricane season it is clear that the year-round readiness and reliability of our network is ever more vital and an advantage that our customers count on," said Jack Plating, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless.
The Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back-up power at all facilities and for additional reliability, generators installed at all switching facilities, and many cell site locations. The company also owns a fleet of portable generators that can be deployed to provide emergency power during extended power outages to those cell sites without permanent generators.*
Additional Verizon Wireless preparation for the 2007 hurricane season includes:
- Verizon Wireless has invested $37 billion in the last seven years $5 billion on average every year since the company was formed and more than $6 billion in 2006 to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. These improvements fortify Verizon Wireless' network to ensure operations during circumstances such as the hurricane season.
- Verizon Wireless is fully prepared to again quickly set up Wireless Emergency Communication Centers* (WECCs) to serve residents and rescue agencies in the area(s) in the greatest need.
- The company has developed and practiced a comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers in the case of a storm or crisis.
- Verizon Wireless has a new Communications Store on wheels* ready to roll. The 35-foot trailer will allow Verizon Wireless to maintain retail operations in areas when company stores are not able to open or when retail services are needed in areas where natural disaster strikes, enabling customers to purchase the wireless phones and accessories they need. Verizon Wireless' mobile store will make its Florida debut this week at the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference in Ft. Lauderdale.
In addition, the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, backed by the company's Network Operations team, test and retest the network's performance and durability year-round. Nationally, Verizon Wireless' national team of real-life test men and women drive 98 specially equipped vehicles* almost 1 million miles every year to test wireless call quality and reliability. Vehicles are equipped with computers that automatically make more than 3 million voice call attempts and more than 16 million data tests on an annual basis on Verizon Wireless' network and the networks of other leading carriers. To see first-hand how the company tests its network and prepares for hurricane season, members of the news media are invited to ride along in one of the specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles with one of the company's real-life test men or test women. To arrange a test drive ride-along, please contact your local Verizon Wireless Media Relations representative.
Verizon Wireless recently became the only major carrier with a 30-day network Test Drive pledge that pays for calls if a customer isn't satisfied and switches to another carrier. Now, wireless consumers get to be their own test man or woman by "taking the Verizon Wireless network for a spin" to experience the Verizon Wireless network on their own. If at any point during the 30-day Test Drive customers are not satisfied with their experience and take their number to another wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless will refund their money for their voice calls, equipment, activation fee and taxes, as well as release them from their contract without early termination fee when they return their phone within the Test Drive period.
Verizon Communications' national wireline network of central office switching systems has backup power in the form of batteries and backup generators that automatically keep the switch running when commercial electrical power is lost. In addition, Verizon monitors traffic on the network around the clock, and can quickly manage calling and data traffic around problem areas. Much of Verizon's national inter-city network contains redundant and diverse routing so that customers can still make calls if one part of the network is damaged.
For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
* Broadcast and Print Editors: High-resolution stills and broadcast-quality video of Verizon Wireless' network assets, its real-life test men and women and other disaster preparedness and recovery material are available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 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 66,000 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.
Media Contacts: In Florida: Chuck HambyChuck.Hamby@verizonwireless.com 813-615-4803
In Houston/Gulf Coast: Patrick Kimball Patrick.Kimball@verizonwireless.com 713-219-8227
In Georgia/Alabama: Caran SmithCaran.Smith@verizonwireless.com 678-339-4891
In North Carolina/South Carolina: Carly CulbertsonCarolyn.Culbertson@verizonwireless.com 864-987-2006
All Other Inquiries: Tom PicaThomas.Pica@verizonwireless.com 908-559-7516####