SAN DIEGO, CA — Verizon Wireless, San Diego's leading wireless service provider, today announced that it has been named the official wireless partner of San Diego by the City Council. Verizon Wireless recently earned top honors locally, when San Diegans voted the company number one in overall customer satisfaction for the second year in a row, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 2000 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study.
As a part of the company's two-year partnership with the City, Verizon Wireless will expand its ongoing community involvement in San Diego to lead several volunteer events to help clean city parks, beaches and recreational areas, and help support programs of the City Library. Verizon Wireless will also facilitate "technology tutoring" sessions in conjunction with the City's literacy and education focus. In addition, Verizon Wireless will provide the City with wireless phones, service and accessories, valued at approximately $1 million, which will be used to increase the efficiency of staff, by taking advantage of the power of wireless.
Verizon Wireless created a new service plan for the City called, "The City of San Diego Shared Bundled Minute Price Program." Similar to the company's Family SharePlansSM that are offered to all San Diego residents, the City's calling plan provides bundled minutes of wireless service time and special per line service features that include: caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, three-way conference calling, voice mail with pager notification, 1,000 mobile to mobile minutes, enhanced voicemail, and a 5-State home calling area that eliminates roaming charges for calls throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii.
"Based upon the final proposals submitted by four wireless service providers and our staff's analysis of the resulting comparative costs to the City for wireless telephone service and equipment, the proposal submitted by Verizon Wireless was the most cost effective for the City," said Richard Wilken, Director, Information, Technology and Communication Department, City of San Diego.
In addition to providing high quality wireless services and equipment, Verizon Wireless has committed to work with City staff as both a technology and marketing partner. Verizon Wireless will provide the following as a technology partner:
Share Technology - Verizon Wireless will schedule regular technology updates with City staff to discuss various changes within the wireless industry, new technologies being developed, the timetable for when they will become available and impacts these technologies will have on the City.
Train Technical Staff - Verizon Wireless will provide ongoing training for City technical staff.
Test New Products - The City will be included in Verizon Wireless's testing/evaluation process for new wireless services and devices.
As a marketing partner, Verizon Wireless will pay the City an annual marketing rights fee, and will receive marketing opportunities including:
Designated "Official Wireless Partner"of the City - The right to be designated and referred to as the "Official Wireless Partner"of the City and to use that designation in promotional and marketing efforts including press releases, stories, features and other publicity initiated by Verizon Wireless or the City.
Logo Designation - Logo designation as the "Official Wireless Partner"of the City in newsletters and other publications published by the City. Also, logo identification on the City's Special Events website with a link to the "Verizon Wireless 7-day Outlook" which highlights special events occurring in San Diego in the next week.
Special Events - Co-sponsor up to four City of San Diego hosted special events each year.
Verizon Wireless has made a strong commitment to making a difference in San Diego. In 1999 and 2000, the company donated to more than 60 San Diego County public high schools, and supported more than 60 San Diego non-profit organizations and philanthropic events, providing Foundation grants and community assistance donations valued at approximately $900,000.
Some of Verizon Wireless' most recent contributions include a donation of 100 wireless phones and free emergency service with Qualcomm to domestic violence prevention shelters throughout San Diego, a donation of satellite phones and service with Globalstar to the San Diego Sheriff Department's search and rescue team, and the Safeguard Our Schools (S.O.S.) phone donation program.
"At Verizon Wireless, we see improving the community as the responsibility of all those who work and live in San Diego," said Verizon Wireless Regional President Mike Finley. "As a result, we encourage our employees to get involved and support the communities we serve. I am proud of my company's philanthropic achievements in San Diego. We have been supporting San Diego communities through employee volunteerism, event support and donations to worthy organizations since 1985. Through our partnership with the City, we will to carry on that tradition and help make San Diego a better place to live for all of us."
Last year, Verizon Wireless made a three-year commitment to San Diego County public high schools, when it launched S.O.S., a statewide phone donation program with Governor Gray Davis. Verizon Wireless in conjunction with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego County Office of Education, Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning, and local police departments and school districts distributed more than 600 wireless phones with free service to participating San Diego County public high schools - a donation valued at nearly $200,000.
The phones, which are specially programmed to connect directly to the appropriate local law enforcement agency, provide emergency communication for teachers and administrators to use in student gathering areas, such as cafeterias, gymnasiums and athletic fields, helping improve the safety of their students.
San Diego residents also benefit from Verizon Wireless' Significant Event Response Team (S.E.R.T.), an all-volunteer group of company employees whose goal is to provide support at a moment's notice to emergency and relief agencies in San Diego and other Southland communities. The team provides wireless phones to public safety agencies and local fire and police departments to help them coordinate their emergency operations. SERT has responded to numerous emergencies in San Diego County, including the firestorms that swept the Southern California coast in 1993, El Niño-driven storms, Camp Pendelton fires, floods, landslides and forest fires. Furthermore, SERT supports major planned events, such as the Super Bowl in San Diego, to enhance cell site capabilities and insure quality communications for Verizon Wireless customers.
For more than 15 years, Verizon Wireless has helped thousands of San Diegans balance their busy lives through the use of wireless service. The company offers both digital and analog cellular service and was the first wireless service provider to launch CDMA digital service for San Diego residents in 1996.
With the grand opening of Verizon Wireless' store in Poway last Friday the company now has 14 Verizon Wireless Communications stores throughout San Diego, which offer a premier line of digital wireless phones, data products and accessories. In addition, Verizon Wireless has a staff of San Diego-based employees at the company's Mira Sorrento office. These employees offer personalized customer service to local residents and help improve and maintain the company's state-of-the-art CDMA digital and analog networks, which provide wireless coverage throughout San Diego County.
About the City of San Diego
The City of San Diego is the second largest city in California and the sixth largest city in the nation. Known for its excellent weather, low crime and numerous cultural attractions, San Diego is recognized worldwide as a top tourist destination. The business climate in San Diego is as warm as its weather thanks to an abundance of colleges and universities, location on the U.S.-Mexican border and Pacific Rim; and numerous cutting edge companies in the high-tech, telecommunications and biotech industries. San Diego's city government is recognized as a leader in the development of creative public/private partnerships.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S.with 26.3 million wireless voice and data customers and 3.5 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 32,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.