KNOXVILLE, TN — Building on its successful strategy to provide customers superior wireless services in the United States, Verizon Wireless Region President Jerry Fountain today announced the launch of two award-winning services in the Knoxville metropolitan area, one developed for the consumer market, the other primarily for business customers. BroadbandAccess the only national wide-area wireless broadband Internet access service available in the United States and V CAST, the nation's first and only wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers, are both available today in Knoxville. Both services run on the company's high-speed EV-DO (Evolution Data-Optimized) wireless broadband network, the nation's largest and fastest wireless broadband network.
"Knoxville is now among 61 metropolitan cities that can enjoy the latest and greatest in mobile wireless technology with BroadbandAccess," said Jerry Fountain, Carolinas/Tennessee regional president for Verizon Wireless, from aboard the Star of Knoxville riverboat. "We are pleased to bring this network first to Knoxville and soon to other cities in Tennessee."
The company's highly touted BroadbandAccess service, available to mobile professionals and enterprise customers, allows customers in the Knoxville metropolitan area to connect wirelessly to Internet via their laptop at broadband speeds, a convenient way to conduct business. The nation's largest and fastest wireless broadband service, BroadbandAccess allows customers to download a 1 Megabyte email attachment (for example, a small PowerPoint presentation or a large PDF file), or receive three digital pictures (each 400 x 600 pixels) in less than 20 seconds. Because EV-DO technology is backward compatible a distinct advantage to the company's CDMA technology customers who travel outside a BroadbandAccess coverage area with an EV-DO device will seamlessly switch to Verizon Wireless' existing NationalAccess service, which runs on the company's 1xRTT network.
"Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network is the most widely available wireless broadband network in the country, so customers in Knoxville can now benefit from a superior wireless data experience while living here and traveling across the country," said Fountain. "BroadbandAccess provides mobile workers full access to their corporate information, just as if they were attached via a high-speed wired connection, but with the freedom of true mobility."
Working with virtual private network (VPN) connections, business customers can use BroadbandAccess as an extension of their corporate local area network (LAN) or intranet, allowing them to work from any location within the BroadbandAccess coverage area, as if they were in the office. BroadbandAccess, with typical user download speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps), is ideal for downloading files and business-critical information residing behind corporate firewalls and for accessing e-mail, intranets and the Internet.
BroadbandAccess' EV-DO technology has its own data protection and authentication and is designed to work with a business' existing IT infrastructure and security solutions.
In conjunction with today's launch of BroadbandAccess in Knoxville, Verizon Wireless also announced new pricing for its BroadbandAccess service current and new customers with any voice plan can now get unlimited BroadbandAccess for $59.99 monthly access with a two-year customer agreement. For non-voice customers, BroadbandAccess is available for $79.99 monthly access for unlimited use with a one- or two-year customer agreement. The new pricing for voice customers on BroadbandAccess is available through December 31, 2005. For more information on BroadbandAccess from Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com/broadbandaccess.
Verizon Wireless' V CAST service enables consumers to access short video content on-demand, viewing current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming. With V CAST, customers can also download and play cutting-edge 3D games, watch music videos and concert performances from favorite artists, view short programs specifically designed for mobile phones and other video content right on their phones. For a list of all videos and 3D game entertainment available on V CAST, visit www.getvcast.com.
"With V CAST, consumers can access the latest in multimedia programming to stay connected, informed and entertained via their wireless phones," added Fountain. "This ground-breaking technology provides clear video images of the most interesting content available all on your wireless phone."
For $15.00 monthly access added to their Verizon Wireless calling plan, customers in Knoxville can get the V CAST VPak which includes unlimited access to a wide array of more than 300 daily updated video clips from leading news, sports, weather and entertainment content providers. Unlimited basic short content is included, but application download fees apply for 3D games, premium video short content, and all other Get It Now® applications. There are no airtime charges to download, stream or watch V CAST content. Customers can also download, stream or watch premium short video content, available at additional cost, which includes video such as music videos, select sports clips and mobisodes. Verizon Wireless V CAST customers also receive monthly access and unlimited browsing on Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web 2.0SM news and information service. For a limited time, customers who sign up for V CAST receive one month of service free.
BroadbandAccess and V CAST run on Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network, which began commercial operation in October 2003 in San Diego and Washington, D.C. and is now the only national wide-area wireless broadband network in the country. Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network initially made its commercial debut with BroadbandAccess wireless Internet access service for business customers and mobile professionals. The company launched its V CAST wireless broadband multimedia service in February 2005.
Verizon Wireless has expanded the EV-DO coverage area the V CAST and BroadbandAccess service areas several times already this year, and the network now covers 61 major metropolitan areas and 65 airports across the country. The company's expansion strategy includes adding new markets and expanding network coverage in existing markets.
In the greater Knoxville area, Verizon Wireless' EV-DO coverage area includes Alcoa, Clinton, Farragut, Gatlinburg, Jefferson City, Lenoir City, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Pigeon Forge, Powell, and Sevierville.
Verizon Wireless has invested more than $4 billion annually on the build-out and enhancement of its networks since the company's inception in 2000, and last year alone it invested $5 billion, including build-out of the wireless broadband EV-DO network. In Tennessee, Verizon Wireless invested more than $80 million in network enhancements in 2004 and projects to spend more than $150 million on the state's network this year.
V CAST and BroadbandAccess Accolades
In May 2005, CMP Media LLC's Network Computing named Verizon Wireless as the Best Business Data Service for BroadbandAccess in the publication's 2005 Well-Connected Awards, beating out business data services of two other major wireless carriers.
LAPTOP magazine awarded Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess service with the Editor's Choice Award in its December 2004 issue. According to the articled titled, "Be Your Own Hot Spot," BroadbandAccess is the only wide-area broadband service "that lives up to the hype." Reviewers concluded, "In short, Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess service lives up to its name. If you live or work in one of the current coverage areas, you'll be rewarded with a high-speed connection that's perfect for those of us with little patience. Which is just about every mobile worker we know."
The company's V CAST consumer multimedia service has received recognition as well. Within weeks of the initial launch, Verizon Wireless' V CAST service won best "Mobile/Remote Service" at the fifth annual MobileFocus Awards, which were presented at CTIA in New Orleans and sponsored by Pepcom and LAPTOP magazine. The awards honor the best in mobile and wireless technology.
BroadbandAccess PC Cards and V CAST Phones
Verizon Wireless offers several PC Cards for BroadbandAccess customers, including the UTStarcom Personal Communications PC 5740, Kyocera KPC-650 and Novatel V620 cards.
Customers can access V CAST on three hot new phones. The featured phone is the new LG VX8100 phone with its full-motion short content with audio streaming and downloading and playback capabilities, the LG VX8100 offers customers a rich and rewarding interactive experience. The LG VX8100 is available for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year customer agreement. V CAST customers can also check out the latest in news, entertainment and sports on the Motorola E815, which is $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year customer agreement and the CDM8940 from UTStarcom Personal Communications (formerly Audiovox Communications Corp.) for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year customer agreement.
For more information on V CAST or BroadbandAccess from Verizon Wireless, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com. Business customers can contact a Verizon Wireless Business Sales Representative directly at 1-800-VZW-4-BIZ.
(EDITORS: Broadcast-quality B-roll footage featuring V CAST and BroadbandAccess is available online. Log on to www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia to preview and request video segments, which can be received in newsrooms digitally, by tape or via satellite.)
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 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.
NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: materially adverse changes in economic conditions in the markets served by us, an adverse change in the ratings afforded our debt securities or those of Verizon Communications by nationally accredited ratings organizations, the effects of the substantial competition that exists in our markets, which has been intensifying, and which may intensify further as a result of local number portability regulations that allow wireless customers to retain their phone numbers when switching wireless service providers, our ability to obtain sufficient financing to satisfy our substantial capital requirements, including to fund capital expenditures, debt repayment and distributions to our owners, our ability to obtain sufficient spectrum licenses, particularly in our most densely populated areas, our ability to develop future business opportunities, including wireless data services, and to continue to adapt to the changing conditions in the wireless industry, our ability to receive satisfactory service from our key vendors and suppliers, our ability to generate additional subscribers, with acceptable levels of churn, from resellers and distributors of our service, material changes in available technology, and technology substitution that could impact the popularity and usage of our technology, our continued provision of satisfactory service to our subscribers at an acceptable cost, in order to reduce churn, the impact of continued unionization efforts with respect to our employees, regulatory developments, including new regulations that could increase our cost of doing business or reduce demand for our services, developments in connection with existing or future litigation, and changes in our accounting assumptions that regulatory agencies, including the SEC, may require or that result from changes in the accounting rules or their application, which could result in an impact on earnings.