BIRMINGHAM, AL — Verizon Wireless, the only wireless service provider with a state-wide 3G network in Alabama, announced today that it invested more than $52 million in 2009 to improve coverage and capacity across the state. In 2009, the company turned up 22 new cell sites, enhanced network capacity in over 75 cities and continued numerous other projects to enhance service and coverage for wireless customers across Alabama.
July through December of 2009, the Verizon Wireless network team worked hard to ensure customers have not only the coverage but the capacity to stay connected. Enhancements include the expansion of the company’s 3G high-speed data coverage and the integration and upgrade of former Alltel Wireless network facilities into the larger and more advanced Verizon Wireless network.
New cell sitesIn 2009, new cell sites were installed and activated in Bay Springs, Centre, Weiss Lake, the Lake Mitchell Resort area, Birmingham, Bessemer, Gadsden, Clanton, Brighton, the Huntsville Airport, Midfield, Morris and in Tuscaloosa at both Bryant-Denny Stadium and along Highway 11 to support the city during the highly-trafficked football games.
In addition to the new towers, network capacity enhancements were made along Highway 20 northwest of Florence and in the residential and commercial areas of east Prattville. As well as in Auburn including the Auburn University Campus, along Highways 79 and 231 in Huntsville, in the Lake Harding area of northeast Limestone County, in the city of Tuscaloosa including the University of Alabama campus, along Interstate 59 North of Gadsden, along U.S 411 in the town of Leesburg, along Highway 17 at the Alabama/Tennessee state line, and in the cities of Boaz, Bessemer, Dothan, Irondale, Jasper, Leeds, Midland City, Millbrook, New Market, Oxford, Rainbow City, Cullman, Snead, Jacksonville, Springville, Steele, Fort Payne, Anniston, Cedar Bluff, Montevallo, Columbiana, Hartselle, Ranburne, and Scottsboro and Woodlawn. In addition, Abbeville, Andalusia, Ashford, Auburn, Beauregard, Crawford, Enterprise, Eufaula, Fort Rucker, Headland, Lake Harding, Marion, Montgomery, Opelika, Prattville, Selma, Tallassee, Titus, Troy, Tuskegee, Union Springs, Webb, Wetumpka, Wicksburg. Also along Hwy 45 north of Chunchula, and along Tanner Williams Road in the Big Creek Lake area.
Alltel integrationThroughout the summer and fall, Verizon Wireless continued the integration of the Alltel network. In 2009, more than 40 cell sites were upgraded and reconfigured to work as part of the Verizon Wireless network. The company also executed grand openings of three formerly-Alltel stores in the cities of Prattville, Alexander City and Montgomery, Ala.
“We’ve always believed even the most advanced device is only as good as the network it runs on. We continue to aggressively invest in our Alabama network to increase coverage and capacity for our customers, add new services, and maintain our leadership,” said Jeff Mango, president - Georgia/Alabama region of Verizon Wireless. “Our network team has put in thousands of man hours this year and never stops working to bring Alabama customers the most advanced services and reliable coverage.”
Other Alabama network highlights for 2009 include:
- Nearly three billion voice and data transmissions and more than six billion minutes of airtime were logged on the Verizon Wireless network in Alabama during the last six months of 2009. Wireless data traffic increased more than 110% and Text Messaging Service increased nearly 60% from the same period in 2008.
- Verizon Wireless’ network technicians (who serve as the inspiration for the famous TV Test Man ad campaign) traveled more than 18,000 miles across the state in 2009 in special test vehicles equipped with phones, wireless data devices and computers to measure the quality of voice and data calls on the Verizon Wireless network, as well as other carriers’ wireless networks.
- Verizon Wireless rolled Cells On Wheels (COWs) to the Auburn University campus to boost wireless coverage for fans, news media and local residents during all Auburn football games. The high-tech COW, with a 75-foot telescoping antenna, dedicated voice channels and high-speed data channels, handles hundreds of phone calls and data transmissions simultaneously.
For more information on Verizon Wireless services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For a Test Man ride-along or to tour a Verizon Wireless network facility, please contact Caran Smith at 678-339-4891.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 91 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NASDAQ 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.