ORANGEBURG, NY — Verizon Wireless today reported it has invested nearly $1 billion during the past three years in the New York Metro area to enhance its digital wireless network, the industry's largest, most reliable both locally and nationwide.
The company has added more than 60 new cell sites in the New York metro area alone this year, built a new switching office to continue to deliver the most reliable voice and data service to its growing customer base, and reinforced the company's emergency preparedness. During the third quarter, Verizon Wireless added a record 1.4 million net new customers across the country, more than double any other wireless carrier, and now serves more than 36 million customers nationwide.
Since 2001, the company has more than doubled its wireless network capacity in the New York metropolitan area to better serve customers' voice and data calls, and to introduce new data services like picture messaging and text messaging.
Customers in all five boroughs of New York City benefited from Verizon Wireless' network investment with new cell sites in Brooklyn and Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. In Manhattan, 25 Verizon Wireless cell sites activated over the past 12 months are located in many parts of the borough: downtown and midtown, near City Hall, the East Side, the West Side, Washington Heights, in the financial district, Washington Square Park, and other locations. In Queens, service was improved in North Forest Hills and on the Grand Central and Belt Parkways. Wireless service was enhanced in Brooklyn in Brooklyn Heights, near the Whitestone Bridge in the Bronx and on Narrows Road on Staten Island, just to name a few of the numerous locations where capacity and/or coverage was enhanced.
In addition, Verizon Wireless is the only wireless carrier with service in all of the following tunnels: Queens Midtown, Brooklyn Battery, Holland, and Lincoln, and the tunnels into and out of Penn Station which serve train commuters (Amtrak, NJ Transit).
"At the end of the day, what matters most to customers is being able to make a wireless call when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business callback or for personal convenience," said Charles Hand, president of the company's New York Metro Region. "We have and will continue to invest heavily in our network so that more calls go through."
The company's reputation for having the most reliable wireless network is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and women who inspired the company's national television advertising campaign.
They place more than 300,000 calls monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles nationwide in specially-equipped company-owned test vehicles containing $300,000 worth of sophisticated testing equipment. These tests consistently show calls on the Verizon Wireless network connect and stay connected more frequently than calls made on other carriers' networks. Included in the company's network investment was work to expand the availability of its high-speed data service, NationalAccess, formerly called Express Network. With NationalAccess, customers can connect to the Internet and company intranets, surf the web and send and receive e-mail wirelessly at average speeds as fast as dial-up from a personal computer.
Backup generators, which provide alternate power during commercial power outages, also were included in the company's capital program. Last summer during the worst power failure in U.S. history, all of the company's switches stayed in service and, even though calling volumes in blackout areas were four times heavier than normal, most calls were completed. Many customers contacted the company in the days following to say how pleased they were with their wireless service.
The New York Metro Region's continuous network investment over the past three years is part of the company's annual average of $4 billion nationwide network improvement program to offer customers service on the most extensive wireless network in the U.S.
EDITORS' NOTE: Verizon Wireless welcomes drive test ridealong requests from reporters interested in seeing the test drive and quality assurance process first hand.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 36 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.