PHOENIX, AZ — Verizon Wireless announced today it has completed a more than $75 million investment for 2004 to enhance the company's digital network in Arizona by updating transmission sites and other technology to improve call quality, increase coverage areas and allow a variety of advanced wireless data services, including wireless data at broadband speed and multi-media messaging.
With major enhancements scheduled to continue through 2005, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $285 million over a four-year period in Arizona network upgrades alone. "While our investment to date is huge, we will continue to invest in our network to serve Arizona customers. Our mission is to continue to deliver the most reliable wireless network in the state, with the most advanced capabilities. Arizona is an especially important market to us given the high demand for the latest wireless technology," said Tami Erwin, region president.
Network upgrade highlights for 2004 in Arizona include:
- Enhancements that expanded the company's call capacity, enabling the network to handle even more simultaneous voice and data calls. Network usage in Arizona increased more than 40 percent in 2004 over 2003.
- Multiple additional new cell sites, which, for example, improved coverage and capacity throughout metro Phoenix; in northern Arizona in Prescott, Flagstaff and along the I-17 corridor; and in southern Arizona in the SaddleBrooke and Johnson's Ranch communities and at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
- Verizon Wireless activated a new, self-contained $500,000 Cell on Light Truck (COLT), a mobile cell site, ready for rapid disaster response. The Arizona-based COLT is part of the company's rapidly growing fleet of mobile generators and temporary cell sites, or cells-on-wheels, ready for deployment.
- In September 2004, Verizon Wireless launched BroadbandAccess, delivering the fastest, most widely-available fully-mobile wireless data experience in the nation today, at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Ariz. The Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) wide-area network was deployed throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area by year-end 2004, and launched commercially on January 7, 2005.
Editor's note: Network cell site images are available at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia
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 advertising campaign. These test men and women are Verizon Wireless engineers who make more than 300,000 test calls monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national wireless carriers' networks while they travel more than 100,000 miles nationwide in specially equipped, company-owned test vehicles.
Verizon Wireless network reliability features include battery back-up power at all facilities as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations.
Test Man Ride-Along Program
The specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test seven wireless providers, using a computerized program to generate phonically diverse "conversations" as well as data transmissions. Members of the media who are interested in setting up an interview ride-along with a local member of the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, contact Jenny Weaver at 480-763-6321 or e-mail Jenny.Weaver@VerizonWireless.com.
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 preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.