TAMPA, FL — Verizon Wireless, which operates the nation’s largest and most reliable voice and 3G data network, announced today that it invested nearly $240 million in 2009 to further enhance advanced wireless services and coverage for Florida customers.
The investment included the activation of new cell sites, construction and upgrades to large network facilities, installation of special technology at high-traffic Florida venues, and the integration of the former Alltel network and customers into the more advanced Verizon Wireless network. While these projects were being completed, Verizon Wireless network test teams also were roaming Florida in special high-tech vehicles to ensure reliable 3G services throughout the state. All these efforts enhance today’s most advanced 3G coverage, as well as preparing the Florida Verizon Wireless network for even more advanced 4G high-speed services.
New cell sites A total of 65 new EV-DO Rev A cell sites were installed and activated throughout Florida in 2009 to strengthen coverage and enhance 3G high-speed wireless services in targeted areas for customers. Multi-site projects were completed in Orlando, the Panhandle, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and near Ocala National Forest. Due to the ongoing network investment (more than $2 billion) since the company was formed in 2000, Verizon Wireless now only needs to install new towers in select areas to stay well ahead of customer growth and maintain the industry’s most advanced and reliable 3G EV-DO network.
South Florida “super switch” The new South Florida Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) is a 45,000-square-foot facility located in west Broward County. The facility will serve as the company’s main call-processing hub for South Florida, with the capacity to handle tens of millions of voice calls and wireless data transmissions each day. The structure, designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, will be equipped with large-scale back-up power generation, further enhancing the everyday and emergency strength of the Verizon Wireless network. Construction of the latest Verizon Wireless “super switch” in Florida is near completion, with full operation planned for the first half of 2010.
Florida attractions Network teams installed special technology at large attractions and venues such as Walt Disney World, Raymond James Stadium (site of the 2009 Super Bowl) and many other high-profile, high-traffic areas that attract millions of people to Florida each year. This technology allows for special services such as the new Disney-developed Mobile Magic application, as well as boosting general voice and wireless data coverage, no matter how busy the event or venue.
Alltel integration Verizon Wireless technicians have integrated more than 700 Alltel cell sites and several large switching facilities across the state to work as part of the largest and most advanced Verizon Wireless network. With the integration of the former Alltel cell sites, many of which are located in smaller markets along the Gulf Coast or rural areas in North Florida, the Verizon Wireless company-owned network will cover nearly the entire state and virtually 100 percent of Florida’s population. Verizon Wireless completed its acquisition of Alltel in January of 2009.
Real-life Test Men Verizon Wireless network technicians (who inspired the famous TV Test Man character) traveled more than 50,000 miles across the state this year in special vehicles to measure connection quality on the Verizon Wireless network versus other carriers. These teams ensure superiority over competitors and the most reliable services for customers all across Florida.
4G LTE services Verizon Wireless plans to launch its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network -- which will offer dramatically higher wireless speeds and reliability than even today’s most advanced 3G network -- in 25 to 30 markets nationally in 2010. These markets have not been identified, but all network enhancements in Florida in 2009 have been made to better prepare the network here for the eventual rollout of 4G LTE technology.
For more information on the Verizon Wireless network and high-speed wireless services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving 89 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.