MIAMI, FL — With predictions today of four to six major hurricanes for the 2006 North Atlantic hurricane season, Verizon Wireless announced that the nation's most reliable wireless network stands ready.
That's because Verizon Wireless is committed to reliability by design with Verizon Wireless investing significantly in network cell sites, switches and infrastructure throughout the years. Today, about 90 percent of the company's cell sites in hurricane-prone regions also have on-site back-up generators, which are routinely tested to ensure they are ready in the event the local electrical power source is knocked out. In addition, Verizon Wireless maintains a fleet of mobile generators and Cells on Wheels (COWs) - self-powered call transmitters that can be rolled into hard-hit locations to provide additional service. The Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, backed by the company's Network Operations team, test and retest the network's performance and durability all year round.
The Verizon Wireless commitment paid off in hurricane seasons the past two years. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina last year, Verizon Wireless drive tests found the company's network averaged an impressive 90% call completion rate in impacted areas after the storm, compared to rates of 79% and lower among competitors. The year before, within the first days after Florida's Hurricane Frances, Verizon Wireless' call completion rate was 96% along the Florida Turnpike and I-95 in Palm Beach, Saint Martin, Saint Lucie and Indian River Counties, compared to other carriers with call completion rates at 84% and lower . As a result, thousands of hurricane victims and emergency workers turned to Verizon Wireless, which set up its Wireless Emergency Calling Centers to enable calling for communities devastated by the storm and to distribute wireless phones that worked to disaster relief agencies and other community groups.
Nationally, Verizon Wireless' real-life test men and women drive some 95 specially equipped vehicles approximately 225,000 miles every quarter on Interstate, U.S. and state highways as well as major roads and surface streets in high-population areas, based upon U.S. Census counts, to make sure that voice calls and data sessions are successful on the first attempt and stay connected. Vehicles are equipped with computers that automatically make more than 750,000 voice call attempts and more than 1.4 million data tests quarterly on Verizon Wireless' network and the networks of other leading carriers.
Verizon Wireless has invested $30 billion in the last six years -- $5 billion on average every year since the company was formed -- to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services.
To see first-hand how the company tests its network and prepares for hurricane season, members of the news media are invited to ride along in one of the specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles with one of the company's real-life test men or test women. To arrange a test drive ride-along, please contact Tom Pica at 908-306-4385.
For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
(Editors: Photos of Verizon Wireless' hurricane preparedness are available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.)
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 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.