Verizon Wireless' Network Withstands Summer Lightning Storm In New Hanover County, North Carolina

WILMINGTON, NC — Verizon Wireless' continued multi-million dollar investment and commitment to strengthen service in Eastern North Carolina prevented a communication gap for New Hanover County officials following a summer lightning storm in the Wilmington area. The strength of Verizon Wireless' network and products allowed New Hanover County dispatch to transmit 911 calls, unit status information and text messages to the field without interruption on Verizon Wireless' network despite the fact that the County's communication center, radio tower and traditional telephone system were all damaged by lightning.

New Hanover County officials were equipped with mobile data terminals that connected to the communication center through Verizon Wireless' high-speed broadband network, which never failed when critical information and calls were processed after the storm.

Since 2005, Verizon Wireless has invested $130 million to build 391 cell towers to bring the nation's most reliable wireless service to Eastern North Carolina and has added 260 EV-DO cell sites to bring high-speed wireless service to this area.

County efforts to aid Wilmington residents in finding shelter while damaged apartments underwent storm repairs were also aided by Verizon Wireless' data services technology. One social worker was able to place residents in available programs on the spot by using her laptop, which was outfitted with a Verizon Wireless air card, saving time and travel for both the county and affected residents.

"The capabilities of our mobile dispatch software paired with the Verizon data services proved to be a valuable method of two-way communication to field personnel when traditional voice methods were not operating at full capacity," said Leslie Stanfield, New Hanover County IT director. "We now look at mobile data as more than just an augmentation of the traditional voice communications. The Verizon data service extends the reach of the County's network to where it is needed, when it is needed."

Since the company's inception in 2000, Verizon Wireless has spent more than $719 million in North Carolina to bring customers the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network*. The company's 'most reliable network' claim is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and women. These engineers conduct more than 3 million voice call attempts and more than 16 million data tests annually on Verizon Wireless' and other national wireless carriers' networks while traveling almost 1 million miles of the most frequently traveled roadways nationwide in specially equipped, company-owned quality test vehicles.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 63.7 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 68,000 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