TALLAHASSEE, FL — Verizon Wireless has constructed a new advanced digital cell site near the Capitol Circle Office Center to increase wireless voice and data capacity and services to the State of Florida Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and other state departments.
The new permanent site replaces a COW (cell site on wheels) that had been deployed to boost wireless communications capacity in the state operations hub, and was completed in time to serve critical operations through this year's hurricane season.
The new site, located off of Capitol Circle to the southeast of the State Capitol, processes voice calls and wireless data traffic utilizing the company's advanced high-speed Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) technology, and is part of the company's continuing growth and investment in Florida. Verizon Wireless spent more than $300 million in the state during the past 18 months to further expand and enhance its all-digital network.
"Our state leaders and residents know from experience just how important wireless communication can be during hurricanes and other emergencies," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "In addition to boosting general coverage in the Capitol area throughout the year, this new site will improve public safety and many other critical state services by helping state officials and emergency personnel communicate before, during and after storms."
The new site and enhanced network capacity in the state hub also complements the Verizon Wireless and State of Florida contract signed in 2005 to improve state operations and efficiency. Under the exclusive five-year agreement, Verizon Wireless will provide up to 58,000 wireless voice and data lines, phones and other technology to help state agencies improve services to Floridians.
In the event of a hurricane or other emergency, the company will also provide up to 500 phones and free airtime to support the state's response efforts.
"We're pleased that our state leaders are embracing the latest technology to better serve citizens here in Florida," Lanman said. "And we are proud to provide the most advanced wireless services and invest heavily to maintain the most reliable wireless network to further this effort."
The aggressive Verizon Wireless network investment now totaling more than $1 billion in Florida and $30 billion nationally during the past six years ensures that Verizon Wireless will continue to stay ahead of growing demand for wireless voice and data services throughout the state.
These network improvements in Florida fortify the Verizon Wireless network throughout the state to ensure strong ongoing wireless coverage and during extraordinary circumstances such as the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005.
The Verizon Wireless network in Florida withstood the impact of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 while other communication networks were often adversely affected. In Florida, more than 80 percent of all Verizon Wireless sites have their own back-up generator in addition to battery power to keep the network running even when the power supply is interrupted.
About the Verizon Wireless EV-DO Network in Florida
The newest high-speed data services from Verizon Wireless that run on the EV-DO network are V CAST, which offers streaming video and music content via wireless phones, and BroadbandAccess, which provides data users with wireless broadband transfer speeds of 300-500 kbps. Verizon Wireless already has rolled out BroadbandAccess and V CAST in Tallahassee and other Florida markets, including Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Orlando and South Florida.
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.