HOUSTON, TX — Verizon Wireless today announced that all of its 40 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in the Houston area, affected by the impact of Hurricane Ike, are open and ready for business. All Verizon Wireless Communications Stores are fully stocked with accessories, phones and BroadbandAccess AirCards a broad array of products and services to serve customers. In addition, Verizon Wireless continues to operate a Wireless Emergency Communications Center (WECC) in Galveston at Kroger on the Sea Wall, offering residents the opportunity to make free phone calls, re-charge wireless phones (regardless of carrier) and access the Internet, using the company's BroadbandAccess service.
Verizon Wireless Network Strong Post IkeThe Verizon Wireless network is currently operating at 100 percent in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. While some cell sites were impacted by the storm, Verizon Wireless network crews have been working diligently to restore sites affected by power outages and flooding. In addition, the company has deployed Cells on Wheels (COWs) to help boost capacity in hard-hit areas where residents and emergency rescue personnel depend on wireless service in the storm's wake.
Verizon Wireless prepares year-round to strengthen and enhance its nationwide network. Over the past year, Verizon Wireless spent $6.5 billion to build and expand its nationwide network. The company carried out a variety of efforts before hurricane season to further strengthen and enhance its network, including a comprehensive emergency system with several command centers in the Gulf Coast, enhancements to its switching centers, over 50 new cell sites and a $137 million investment, to name a few.
"With the aftermath of Hurricane Ike still impacting the Houston area, communication for residents and emergency relief efforts is vital," said Kay Henze, Houston/Gulf Coast region president for Verizon Wireless. "Our advance storm preparation and network enhancements delivered when faced with a major hurricane. These situations are the reason Verizon Wireless is vigilant about reliability and advance storm preparation."
The company's robust network-strengthening efforts are part of its continuous investment in the Houston/Gulf Coast region. Nationally, Verizon Wireless has spent about $5 billion annually to enhance its digital wireless network and over $45 billion since 2000.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 70,000 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.####