News Release

Verizon Wireless Boosts Florida Digital Network

Network Investment In State Now Tops $1.2 Billion

January 31, 2004

Chuck Hamby
Chuck.Hamby@VerizonWireless.com
813-615-4803

TAMPA, FL — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, completed a $185 million expansion and enhancement of its all-digital network in Florida in 2003 to improve wireless voice and data services and coverage for customers across the state.

The expansion boosts Verizon Wireless' Florida geographic coverage to just about 24,000 square miles and nearly 15 million of the state's 16.5 million residents. The company's total network investment in Florida now has exceeded $1.2 billion. The most recent investment included new transmission sites and equipment, software and other infrastructure. More than 135 new transmission sites were added in 2003, most to strengthen coverage and services in all of Florida's main population centers already served by Verizon Wireless. This helps make "in-building" and all calls clearer and more reliable, as well as allowing high-speed wireless connections for data and multi-media messaging.

"This investment allows us to stay ahead of the growing demand for Verizon Wireless voice and data services, like multi-media messaging and Internet access, throughout the state," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "We believe a strong network is the backbone of wireless communications and Verizon Wireless is committed to having the best network in Florida. And with wireless customers now able to take their numbers with them when they switch carriers, a strong network is key to attracting and retaining customers."

Verizon Wireless has invested a billion dollars every 90 days -- more than $12 billion -- during the past three years to expand and enhance the nation's largest wireless network.

The continuing investment makes it possible to offer customers the most reliable wireless service available. The company's most reliable network claim is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and test women who inspired the company's national "Can you hear me now?" advertising campaign. They conduct more than 300,000 call attempts monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national wireless carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles across Florida in specially-equipped, company-owned quality test vehicles.

Verizon Wireless Network Facts:

  • Verizon Wireless' network is 100 percent digital, delivering the highest quality voice and data services;
  • In the first half of 2003, customers sent and received more than 1 billion billed text messages through Verizon Wireless' network;
  • Between September 2002 and June 2003, Verizon Wireless customers downloaded nearly 12 million Get It Now® games, ring tone packages, entertainment applications and more. The rate of downloads has skyrocketed to an average of 4 million downloads each month;
  • Picture Messaging, launched in 2003, is an intuitive service that requires just a few easy clicks to take and send a photo. In less than three months after the launch of the Verizon Wireless' picture messaging service, customers shared more than 2 million picture messages over the company's nationwide network;
  • In 2003, Verizon Wireless launched Push to Talk (PTT) — a walkie-talkie feature that provides a one-button, fast connection between Verizon Wireless PTT users on Verizon Wireless' nationwide wireless network. The company has more than 100,000 subscribers to date.

Broadband Access is Verizon Wireless' 3G network that launched in October 2003 in San Diego and Washington D.C., and offers wireless Internet connections at broadband-like speeds averaging 300-500 kilobits per second. Broadband Access is expected to roll out in Florida and across the country in 2004-05.

For more information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.  

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 37.5 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. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com.

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