BEDMINSTER, NJ — This year, Verizon Wireless was hard at work improving the nation's most reliable network, continuing its more than $4 billion annual investment to maintain and expand the network nationwide. In addition to adding new cell sites and network equipment to support major events across the country, Verizon Wireless deployed its Cell on Wheels (COWs) and Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs)-- self-contained mobile cell sites -- at events and during times of natural disasters to ensure reliability and accessibility of the network for its customers.
Hurricane Efforts With this year's record hurricane season hitting Florida and the Gulf Coast hard, Verizon Wireless was on hand to ensure its network was ready to serve customers in these times of emergency. The company works throughout the year preparing for disasters to help ensure the network remains online in the event of a power outage. In addition to emergency generators at many sites, Verizon Wireless was on hand in Florida and the Gulf region with a mobile fleet of self-powered transmitters. Network teams rolled out COWS and COLTS in some of the hardest hit areas during and following Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne to make certain customers and rescue workers were able to make emergency calls. Verizon Wireless also deployed hundreds of technicians to the area to prepare and keep its network operating, donated wireless phones and equipment to federal, state and local emergency responders and set up Wireless Emergency Communications Centers (WECCs) to enable residents to contact loved ones, insurance companies and/or disaster relief agencies.
Said Janine Karras of Fort Myers, Florida, "My Verizon cell phone never, never, never went down. Even during the brunt of the storm! It was amazing. My neighbors have other wireless services and they all had their services interrupted. My phone was the only one working!"
National Political Conventions Verizon Wireless was at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004. In preparation for the expected increase in wireless voice and data calls, the company invested nearly $4 million to strengthen its network coverage at the event venues, including the FleetCenter and Madison Square Garden, as well as throughout the city and in surrounding areas. In New York, Verizon Wireless activated two new cell sites to enhance coverage and added a repeater, which boosts signal strength inside buildings. The company also added several COWs to provide increased capacity.
Other Events The Verizon Wireless network also could be counted on across the country this year to handle increased volume at various major events. COWs were deployed to a series of NASCAR racing events at the Dover Downs International Speedway in Delaware in June and September; and at Churchill Downs in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby in May. COWs were also onsite in Pennsylvania for the weeklong Bloomsburg Fair and the Fall Carlisle Car Show.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data 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/verizonwireless.