BIRMINGHAM, AL — Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, has crested the midyear point after another aggressive quarter of network expansion and enhancement across Alabama. The wireless carrier deployed new cell sites and network enhancements to improve coverage and capacity in 15 markets across the state during the second quarter of 2006, after similar expansions in 12 areas of the state during the first three months of this year. The most recent quarter's investment includes aggressive capacity expansion in Birmingham, the state's largest market, and new cell sites in eastern and northwestern parts of the state.
The network expansion is part of more than $63 million in network investment by Verizon Wireless in Alabama and Georgia during the first half of 2006. Since 2003, the company has invested more than $230 million in Alabama to ensure it has the state's most reliable wireless network.
During the second quarter of 2006, several new cell sites and network enhancements have improved coverage and capacity in the following areas:
New cell sites:
- Auburn University expanded coverage and enhanced capacity along the west side of campus.
- Bexar / Hamilton expanded coverage along US 78 from Hamilton, AL to the Mississippi boarder and along SR 19, US 43 and SR 17.
- Birmingham (two sites) expanded coverage and enhanced capacity in the town of Ashville, along US 231 as well as in the Highway 280/Interstate 459 area.
- Florence expanded coverage within the town of Cherokee and along US Highway 72.
- Lacey Springs expanded coverage within the town of Lacey Springs and along US Highway 231.
- Anniston enhanced capacity for the cities of Anniston and Oxford.
- Chelsea enhanced in southeast Birmingham along Interstate 65 and US 280.
- Birmingham enhanced capacity within the Cahaba Heights, Galleria, West Shades Valley areas of the city.
- Courtland enhanced capacity in northwestern AL between Interstate 65/Decatur and Highway 43/Russellville.
- Gadsden enhanced capacity in the Gadsden area.
- Gardendale enhanced capacity in the cities of Gardendale and Warrior north Jefferson County.
- Huntsville enhanced along Interstate 65 and Highway 432 near the AL/TN border.
- Jacksonville enhanced capacity in the town of Jacksonville and Jacksonville State University.
- Pell City enhanced capacity between Interstate 20 and Pell City and Interstate 459 and Argo in northwestern Birmingham.
- Rogersville enhanced capacity along US 72 near Rogersville and in northwest AL.
- Tuscaloosa enhanced capacity in southern Tuscaloosa along Interstate 20.
"We are in a relentless push to make sure that all of our customers in Alabama have the best coverage and wireless experience of any carrier," said Jim McGean, Verizon Wireless Alabama/Georgia region president. "Our team of Alabama employees is dedicated to combining top notch coverage with the best new wireless services and capabilities found anywhere."
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.
All enhanced coverage is the direct result of network studies, designed to improve Verizon Wireless network performance. The company's 'most reliable network' claim is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and test women throughout the country who inspired the "Can you hear me now? Good®" national advertising campaign. These engineers conduct more than 300,000 call attempts monthly on Verizon Wireless' and other national carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles a month in specially equipped company-owned test vehicles.
Verizon Wireless continues to lead the industry in customer loyalty, posting the lowest customer churn rate 1.18% - among national carriers and ranked on top across the southeast including Alabama for highest call quality and customer service and nationally as the best carrier for business according the most recent J.D. Power reports.
EDITORS NOTE: Test Man Ride-Along Program for the News Media Specially-equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test the Verizon Wireless network as well as the networks of as many as seven other wireless providers, using a mobile laptop computer to generate phonically diverse "conversations." If one of your reporters is interested in setting up an interview or ride-along test drive with your locally-based Verizon Wireless test man or woman, please contact Caran Smith at 678-339-4891.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, 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