News Release

Verizon Wireless Boosts Digital Services Along U.S. Highway 19 Corridor In Florida

Major Investment In Levy, Dixie, Taylor Counties Will Help Meet Growing Local Demand

November 17, 2005

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

TAMPA, FL — To provide reliable wireless service for local businesses, residents and visitors on Florida's "Nature Coast," Verizon Wireless has constructed eight new advanced digital wireless transmission sites along the fast-growing U.S. Highway 19 corridor.

This multimillion-dollar investment in Levy, Dixie and Taylor counties will boost coverage for voice calls and bring wireless data traffic to the region, as well as along the major route linking the Tampa Bay area to Tallahassee. "This is a very important and fast-growing region of the state," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. "This network investment allows us to stay ahead of the growth and serve both Tampa Bay and Tallahassee — plus the many communities between those areas — with reliable wireless coverage and advanced services."

The eight new sites are designed to work with existing network assets to enhance coverage in these areas:

  • Perry — near North Plantation Road
  • Carbur — south of Perry along U.S. 19
  • Fanning Springs — near U.S. 19 south of Fanning Springs
  • Pumpkin Swamp — northwest of Cross City
  • Chiefland — near downtown Chiefland and U.S. 19
  • Usher — along U.S. 19 and County Road 347
  • Otter Creek — near U.S. 19 and State Road 24
  • Lebanon Station — along U.S. 19 and State Road 121

The new sites are part of Verizon Wireless' continuing investment in the region and throughout Florida. In 2004, the company spent more than $220 million to further expand and enhance its all-digital network across the state. In the past four years alone, the company has spent more than $800 million in Florida for network improvements.

The network effort also includes teams of real-life test men and women who inspired the company's famous "Can You Hear Me Now? Good.®" advertising campaign. These teams travel throughout the region in special vehicles, testing the Verizon Wireless network to ensure strong coverage against other wireless companies. In addition to staying ahead of the growing demand for wireless voice and data services (Picture Messaging, Internet access, etc.), the new sites along Highway 19 fortify the Verizon Wireless network during hurricanes and other emergencies.

The Verizon Wireless network in Florida withstood the impact of several major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 and remained on-air while landlines and other wireless providers faltered. In Florida, nearly 80 percent of all Verizon Wireless sites have their own back-up generator — in addition to battery power — to keep the network running even when the power supply is interrupted.

"We have seen that a strong, reliable wireless network plays an important part in public safety in large emergencies and everyday," Lanman said. "Verizon Wireless takes this role very seriously to help serve and protect Florida residents and visitors."

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" and data transmissions. Members of the media who are interested in setting up an interview or ride-along with a local member of the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, please contact Chuck Hamby at 813-615-4803 or via email at chuck.hamby@verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 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.  

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