News Release

Verizon Wireless' Hot Air Balloon Makes Inaugural Flight At Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Company Celebrates Fifth Year as Official Wireless Communications Provider

October 7, 2001

Jenny Weaver
480-763-6321

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Verizon Wireless is giving new meaning to the word "airtime" with the debut of its signature hot air balloon at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Oct. 6 through Oct. 14; and a promotional offer of 3,000 free home airtime minutes each month for life.

"Verizon Wireless is proud to once again be a part of ballooning's largest and most spectacular event," said Wes Ver Woert, associate director of marketing for Verizon Wireless' Desert Mountain region. "This year is especially exciting for us because not only are we returning as the official wireless communications provider of the Balloon Fiesta, but it's also an amazing opportunity to be able to introduce the Verizon Wireless Hot Air Balloon to the hundreds of thousands of spectators that participate in this event."

Additionally, Verizon Wireless is currently offering 3,000 free home airtime minutes each month for life. As long as a customer chooses an eligible rate plan and stays on that plan, they will always have 3,000 nights and weekend home airtime minutes. Customers can take advantage of the offer from now through Nov. 12.

The Verizon Wireless Hot Air Balloon is operated by Pueblo Balloon Co. of Howley, Texas and piloted by Johnny Lewis and crew chief Debbie Lewis. The balloon has a lifting capacity of 1,750 lbs., 77,000 cubic feet of volume and is 70 ft. high.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.

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