SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico Telephone's wireless subsidiary, Celulares Telefónica Inc., now has a new name -- Verizon Wireless.
The name change was announced today at Puerto Rico Telephone's headquarters in a ceremony to welcome the Verizon Wireless brand to Puerto Rico.
In addition to the name change, Celulares Telefónica will upgrade its network to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital technology. The upgrade will provide customers seamless roaming when traveling to and from the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Telephone also reached an agreement with a Latin American wireless consortium to extend roaming to 18 countries in the region.
"Our main objective is to redefine wireless communications in Puerto Rico while capitalizing on the local strengths of Celulares Telefónica and the standard of excellence that distinguishes Verizon Wireless," said Jon E. Slater, president and CEO of Puerto Rico Telephone.
Fares Salloum, president-international the Americas for Verizon Communications, said, "Today's announcement is a significant step toward strengthening our international presence and commitment of building the most respected brand and reputation in the industry. The Verizon Wireless brand will deliver to Puerto Rico superior value and quality service."
Verizon has a 40 percent ownership stake in Puerto Rico Telephone and operates the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S., which is also known as Verizon Wireless. Although the two wireless companies share the same name, they will remain separate entities.
With enhanced roaming, customers of Verizon Wireless in Puerto Rico will be able to use their cellular phones in the U.S. to make calls over the network of the U.S. company.
A multi-media branding campaign, scheduled to start Nov. 1, will introduce customers in Puerto Rico to the Verizon Wireless brand. Broadcast, print, and radio ads will focus on the quality and reliability that characterize Verizon Wireless. The campaign will use the voice of renowned Puerto Rican celebrity spokesperson Braulio Castillo Jr., who will invite Puerto Ricans to "join in" and be part of the new wireless movement.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.