Verizon Wireless Invests Nearly $75 Million In Network Enhancements Across North Carolina In First Half Of 2008

RALEIGH, NC — Verizon Wireless announced today that it spent close to $75 million to enhance voice and data services and coverage throughout North Carolina in the first six months of 2008. The leading wireless provider now covers approximately 30,345 square miles across the state thanks to the investment of nearly $890 million in North Carolina since 2000. The investment is part of Verizon Wireless’ aggressive multi-billion dollar network investment each year to stay ahead of the growing demand in North Carolina for the company’s superior voice and data services and to help ensure the North Carolina network is ready when severe weather hits.

Major areas of improvement across North Carolina since January include:

  • Significant enhancements to the Charlotte area, specifically for customers around Mount Holly Huntersville Road, Beatties Ford Road, Hornets Nest Park and the future I-485.
  • Enhanced network coverage on Lake Norman, specifically in the Peninsula community in Cornelius and along I-77.
  • Improved voice and data service in and around Raleigh and along Highways 15, 50 and 56 around Creedmoor.
  • Extensive high-speed wireless Internet was brought to Jacksonville, Goldsboro, New Bern, Rocky Mount and Wilmington.

The network enhancement enables more Verizon Wireless customers to use their wireless phones to make calls; send and receive e-mail and text, picture and video messages; and download games and ringtones while enjoying superior wireless coverage.

Part of the nearly $75M investment has been toward the statewide activation of its high-speed Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) network. The enhanced network provides even higher-speed business and entertainment-based services on wireless phones, laptops and other wireless devices with Verizon Wireless’ BroadbandAccess and V CAST multimedia services. Today, over 86 percent of North Carolina residents have access to Verizon Wireless’ high-speed broadband service, an increase of over 22 percent since 2007. Verizon Wireless’ 3G high-speed BroadbandAccess Network is currently available in Asheville, Burlington, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Hickory, Jacksonville, Raleigh and Wilmington. The high-speed network is also available throughout the following counties: Cherokee, Yancey, Henderson, Anson, Chatham, Rockingham, Northhampton, Camden, Harnett, Hoke, Sampson, Greene, Pitt and Cabarrus.

“By continually investing in North Carolina, we can maintain excellent call quality and provide the best wireless service available,” said Jerry Fountain, president of Verizon Wireless’ Carolinas/Tennessee Region. “Customers choose Verizon Wireless and stay with us, because they know they’ll get wireless service they can depend on.”

Network tests in the first half of 2008 indicate that the investment to further boost network strength is working for customers. Teams of “Test Man” technicians perform the testing daily (the inspiration for the famous TV Test Man ad campaign) and have traveled approximately 14,594 miles across North Carolina so far this year. The test teams ride in special vehicles loaded with computers, wireless phones and other equipment to measure and ensure strength and reliability versus other carriers.

“Making sure that residents and tourists have reliable service in the Tarheel State requires a significant investment and dedication of our network technicians and engineers,” Fountain said. “We’ll continue the ongoing commitment and investment in North Carolina to serve our customers and communities for a long time to come.”

To meet customers’ growing demand for Verizon Wireless’ products and services across the state, Verizon Wireless has opened four new communication stores locations in the past six months in the following areas:

Concord
8603 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027
704-979-1697

Denver
7180 Highway 73
Denver, NC 28037
704-827-8281

Gastonia
3090 E Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28056
704-861-8323

UNCC
110 McCullough Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28262
704-548-9510

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 67.2 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD).  For more information, go to: 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.

EDITORS NOTE: Test Man Ride-Along Program for the News Media
Specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test the Verizon Wireless network as well as the networks of as many as seven other wireless providers, using a mobile laptop computer to generate phonically diverse “conversations.” If one of your reporters is interested in setting up an interview or ride-along test drive with your locally-based Verizon Wireless test man or woman, please contact Carly Culbertson.

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