Verizon Confirms $100 Million Detroit Investment

It’s an important time for the city of Detroit following the historic bankruptcy that wrapped up last year and made national headlines.  Momentum is clearly present in the city as leaders in philanthropy, business, government, and the larger community work together to find the right solutions to move forward. 

Verizon recently confirmed a $100 million network investment  to further enhance the wireless experience, as reported by the city’s ABC News station.

“In metro Detroit, we’ve installed small cell technology and distributed antenna systems to add capacity in important high traffic areas so that our customers have an even stronger experience and so that we’re prepared for future growth,” said Verizon Region President Lauren Love-Wright. 

Of the 150 new “small cell” sites in Michigan, nearly 100 of them are focused on metro Detroit. Verizon recently completed network enhancement projects on Belle Isle, the Detroit Riverfront, the area surrounding Joe Louis Arena, the Rosa Parks Transit Center, the New Center area, and Campus Martius Park.

Small cells are part of Verizon Wireless’ strategy to stay ahead of the growing demand for mobile data. With demand increasing, staying ahead by boosting capacity is vital.  A small cell consists of a radio, antenna, power and a fiber connection. It can range about 1,000 feet and is 4G LTE-enabled, allowing more consumers to do things like stream video or share photos on social media during big city events.

Speaking to reporters on a Verizon facility tour in metro Detroit, Mark Emerick, director of Michigan’s network operations for Verizon, said, "Reliability is who we are at Verizon Wireless." Verizon allowed members of the media to see inside network facilities and see first-hand the many redundant systems in place in case something happened, such as power loss.

“My takeaway from the tour: If there is another massive blackout like there was in 2003, this facility will stay up and running,” wrote Daniel Duggan, editor for Crain’s Detroit Business, who also participated in the tour. “Between battery backups, generators for the batteries, a three-day fuel supply on-site for the generators -- and a contract with a fuel supply company to bring as much fuel as needed -- this particular switching facility can run for months and months if there’s no power.”

In Michigan, Verizon has spent $2.7 billion on network investments since 2000.

Trevor Thomas is a public relations manager with Verizon Wireless. Follow him on Twitter at: @VZWtrevor.

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