HARRISBURG, PA — Verizon Wireless today announced it completed $240 million in enhancements to its Pennsylvania wireless voice and data network in 2005. The local investment, part of more than $25 billion invested nationwide over the past five years, included adding and updating cell sites to:
- improve call handling capacity and call quality;
- increase coverage and expand advanced data services like wide-area wireless broadband access, text and video messaging and other applications for businesses and consumers.
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 Roger Tang, presidentOhio/Pennsylvania Region, Verizon Wireless. "While our competitors focus on integrating divergent networks and on image makeovers, we will continue to efficiently invest in network enhancements to deliver what our customers want most-the best, most reliable wireless voice and data network."
During 2005, test results consistently showed that the number of ineffective call attempts on the Verizon Wireless network was lower than for any other carriers serving Pennsylvania. Test results also indicated that calls connected on the Verizon Wireless network were more likely to stay connected for the duration of the call.
As part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing statewide investment in Pennsylvania, the following network enhancements were made in 2005:
- Verizon Wireless added 70 cell sites and increased call handling capacity on existing sites, providing the benefits of expanded wireless coverage and fewer blocked or dropped calls. The enhancements also enabled more customers to use their wireless phones concurrently at large-scale public gatherings like this past fall's 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington. Other enhancements resulted in improved capacity at popular tourist spots like Seven Springs Ski Resort in Somerset County.
- The company launched service in Bedford County. The $7.4 million investment enhanced coverage along portions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Bedford County to New Baltimore to Jackson Mills. Coverage also is enhanced along portions of U. S. Route 220, Interstates 70 and 99 as well as State Routes 26, 31, 39, 56, and U. S. Route 30.
- The company installed additional generators at cell sites throughout Pennsylvania. More than 90 percent of Verizon Wireless' cell sites in western and central Pennsylvania now are equipped with permanent generators, and every cell site has hours of battery backup power to keep the network operating and customers' calls connected during commercial power outages. Additionally, the company owns a fleet of portable generators that can be deployed to cell sites without permanent generators to provide emergency power during extended power outages.
- The company activated a cell site at Pittsburgh International Airport, bringing V CAST and BroadbandAccess services to all areas of both terminals. V CAST is the nation's first wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers that brings high-quality video, games and music to handsets. BroadbandAccess enables (More) mobile professionals to use their laptops wirelessly to tap into applications and tasks with typical user download speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps).
Last year, Verizon Wireless' 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 company's network on frequently traveled roadways. The company's reputation for having the most reliable national network is based on studies performed by these real-life test men and women who inspired the company's national television advertising campaign.
Demand for Verizon Wireless' services continued during 2005 as the company set new records for adding new customers. Verizon Wireless now serves 49.3 million customers nationwide.
Editor's note: Test Man Ride-Along Program
If you are interested in setting up an interview or ride-along with the Verizon Wireless "test man" for the Pittsburgh area, please contact Laura Merritt at 614-561-2605.
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, N.J., 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.