COLUMBUS, OH — Verizon Wireless today announced it completed $190 million in enhancements to its Ohio wireless voice and data network in 2005. This 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."
As part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing investment in Ohio, the following network enhancements were made in 2005:
- Verizon Wireless added 78 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 Ohio State University football games at Ohio Stadium. Other enhancements resulted in improved capacity in northwestern Ohio and around college campuses, including Miami University.
- The company launched service in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The $9 million investment enhanced coverage in Youngstown, Warren, Boardman, Niles, Ellsworth, Austintown and Canfield. Network service also was extended along Interstate 680 from Youngstown south to Lima, along Interstate 80 from Cleveland northeast to the Pennsylvania border, along State Route 224 from Ellsworth east to the Pennsylvania border, and along Interstate 76 from Akron southeast to the Pennsylvania border.
- The company launched its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) wide-area network in Cleveland. The EV-DO network enables two new services for Verizon Wireless customers in the area:
- BroadbandAccess, the largest high-speed wireless broadband network in the United States geared toward business professionals, with average user speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps);
- V CAST, the nation's first wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers that brings high-quality video, games and music to handsets.
- The company installed 100 generators at cell sites throughout Ohio. Nearly 75 percent of Verizon Wireless' cell sites in Ohio 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.
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.