ORANGEBURG, NY — Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, today announced it has completed nearly $400 million in enhancements to its New York network in 2005. The multi-million dollar state-wide investment, part of more than $25 billion invested across the nation in the past five years, included adding and updating cell sites and new switching facilities to improve call handling capacity and call quality, increase coverage and expand advanced services like wireless broadband Internet access, TXT and Video Messaging.
The company also continued to invest in redundancy capabilities designed to keep the network operating during power outages and in its rigorous network quality assurance program daily testing designed to analyze network reliability and assist the company in targeting improvements.
"Reliable wireless networks are not built overnight," said Charles Hand, president of the company's New York Metro Region. "While our competitors focus on integrating divergent networks and image makeovers, Verizon Wireless continues to efficiently invest in network enhancements to deliver what our customers want most: the best, most reliable wireless voice and data network."
As part of its ongoing network investment in New York, Verizon Wireless expanded its BroadbandAccess 3G high-speed wireless broadband network, first deployed in 2004, to nearly three quarters of the New York Metro area population in 2005. Customers in large portions of New York City and Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties now enjoy wireless Internet connections at broadband speeds and V CAST, the first and only wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers.
Other network upgrades in 2005 included:
- Three new mobile switching facilities were added in the region, including one in Farmingdale (Suffolk County), to stay ahead of growing demand for voice and data services like two-way TXT Messaging, Picture Messaging, downloadable Ring Tones and games.
- An increase in call-handling capacity at nearly 200 cell sites throughout the region.
- Activation of additional new cell sites in New York City, on Long Island, and in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, increasing both coverage and capacity. Additional cell sites are scheduled to be built in 2006.
- Fully converted all Manhattan cell sites to 3G service providing high-speed wireless broadband Internet access service from Battery Park to Central Park.
- The addition of first-time coverage to the outer reaches of Shelter Island and extra capacity in the central business district.
- Expanded high-speed BroadbandAccess service to Long Island's southern shore just in time for the busy summer travel season and to accommodate business people who need wireless access to behind the firewall office applications from summer homes.
- Installed additional generators and batteries throughout the New York Metro region. Every Verizon Wireless cell site has hours of battery backup to keep the network operating during commercial power outages. The vast majority of cell sites have generator backup as well.
Last year, Verizon Wireless' cross-country team of real-life test men and women made more than 3.6 million calls and traveled more than 1.2 million miles nationwide, testing the Verizon Wireless network on the most frequently traveled roadways. The company's reputation for having the most reliable national wireless network is based on network studies performed by these real-life test men and women who inspired the company's national television advertising campaign.
During 2005, test results consistently showed the number of ineffective attempts for the Verizon Wireless New York network was lower than any other New York Metro area carrier. Test results also indicated calls connected on the Verizon Wireless network were more likely to stay connected for the duration of the call.
Demand for Verizon Wireless services continued during 2005 as the company set new records for net new customers nearly 5.5 million during the first three quarters of the year and for customer loyalty posting the lowest rate of customer turnover in the industry during the first nine months of 2005. Verizon Wireless now serves 49.3 million customers nationwide. "Our New York customers are among the most demanding and tech savvy in the nation and, while other wireless carriers play catch-up, we will continue to deliver the reliable and innovative services our customers demand," Hand said. "In 2006, we'll continue to focus on the fundamentals of our business providing the best network, superior customer service and advanced, innovative products and services day in and day out, one customer at a time."
* Editors Note: Test Man Ride-Along Program
If you are interested in setting up an interview or ride-along test drive with your local Verizon Wireless test man or woman, please contact Lynette Viviani at 973-283-9228.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the most reliable nationwide 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.