News Release

Verizon Wireless' Advance Preparation Ensures Success of 99 Percent of All Call Attempts in Aftermath of Storm

Residents With Wireless Needs Can Visit Verizon Wireless Communication Store to Place Free Phone Calls, Recharge Batteries

July 10, 2005

Patrick Kimball
Patrick.Kimball@verizonwireless.com
281-686-1937

PENSACOLA, Fla — Verizon Wireless, which owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network serving 45.5 million customers, reports a 99 percent success rate of all measured call attempts in areas impacted by the storm, with 95 percent of all towers in operation, thanks to advance preparation and back-up plans for severe weather.

With several cell towers running off of backup generators already in place before the storm, there has been very little interruption in service during and after Hurricane Dennis' landfall. The company invests more than$4 billion annually to expand and upgrade its network, helping to ensure reliable network service year-round.

Verizon Wireless Plans for Emergencies

"Verizon Wireless' 99 percent success rate proves that our network is built for reliability year round -- even in an emergency situation like this,"said Katherine Greene, president for Verizon Wireless Houston/Gulf Coast region. "Planning for emergencies is an important part of our commitment to build the most reliable wireless network for the Gulf Coast area."

Network Built for Reliability

The Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back up power at most facilities, as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations. In Florida alone, more than 85 percent of the individual transmission sites operated by Verizon Wireless have their own on-site generators. This capability is critical if power is lost or roads are impassable in the wake of a storm. The company has a fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWS) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS) in place to provide extra network capacity in Pensacola.

Verizon Wireless Helps Pensacola Residents with Communication Needs The Verizon Wireless' Communications store on 9 Mile Road is open to the public, offering Pensacola residents the opportunity to place free phone calls, charge their wireless phones and receive troubleshooting on their wireless devices.

In addition, Verizon Wireless has readied loaner wireless phones and extra batteries for distribution and use by local emergency personnel, including relief agencies and local counties such as the Red Cross in Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida; Santa Rosa county Sheriff's Department; Fire Departments in Midway and Navarre; and Escambia County Human Resources Department.

Safety Tips

Verizon Wireless and emergency officials urge residents to use their wireless phones only when necessary so the network will not be overloaded for emergency workers who are depending on wireless communications in their rescue and restoration operations. Other emergency communication tips include:

  • Keep wireless phone batteries and extras charged whenever possible, such as with a vehicle charger or an outlet with safe, available electricity.
  • Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.
  • Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers and program them into your phone.
  • If having to dial 9-1-1, remember to hit the "Send" key and state your location.

Video footage with helpful tips for consumers to prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD; London). 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.

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