BIRMINGHAM, A.L. — Verizon Wireless announced today it is bringing wide-area wireless broadband service to the Greater Birmingham area, giving local customers access to the latest high-speed business and entertainment services on their wireless phones, laptop computers and other wireless devices. Birmingham is the first city in Alabama to join the company's coast to coast broadband network.
With this launch, Verizon Wireless customers in the metro Birmingham area are able to access the company's two wireless broadband services BroadbandAccess and V CAST while traveling throughout the city.
BroadbandAccess is the company's high-speed wireless broadband network geared toward mobile professionals and business customers. It provides average access speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps). The service gives customers the ability to connect to the Internet using a PC card that slides directly into most laptop computers and enables a download of a 1 Megabyte e-mail attachment (the equivalent of a small PowerPoint® presentation or a large PDF file) in about 20 seconds.
V CAST is a consumer-oriented multimedia service that offers music and video content on demand, including news, weather and sports updates, clips from popular TV programs, music videos, movie trailers, 3D games and more. With V CAST Music, customers can browse and download songs from the V CAST Music library directly onto their V CAST Music-enabled phone or Windows® XP-enabled PC. The V CAST Music library contains more than 1.3 million songs.
Both services are based on the company's Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network technology.
"This expansion is part of our continuing focus on investing in our network reliability and providing innovative high-speed data services to our customers across the country and here in Alabama," said Jim McGean, president of Verizon Wireless' Alabama / Georgia Region. "With BroadbandAccess, Birmingham-area mobile professionals and business customers will now be able to take their desktop experience with them, allowing them to wirelessly access their Microsoft Outlook® calendars, the Internet, e-mail and critical business information residing behind corporate firewalls. With V CAST, consumers now have access to the most comprehensive selection of downloadable music, high-quality videos and advanced gaming available."
Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess coverage expansion in Greater Birmingham includes the area roughly from Gardendale to Calera and from Vance to Westover. Greater Birmingham-area customers traveling along I-65 from just north of Gardendale to Calera and along I-20 from Moody to Vance will now have BroadbandAccess and V CAST coverage. (Customers who travel outside a BroadbandAccess coverage area with an EV-DO device will switch seamlessly to Verizon Wireless' existing NationalAccess network in which customers experience average data transmission speeds between 60 and 80 kbps, with bursts up to 144 kbps.)
Verizon Wireless was the first national wireless provider to commercially launch a high-speed wireless broadband network in the United States. Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network coverage area now covers half the nation's population. The company has invested more than $112 million in Alabama and Georgia so far this year part of its $30 billion nationwide network investment over the last six years to ensure network reliability and expanded coverage and capacity.
BroadbandAccess provides mobile workers full access to their corporate information as if they were attached to the information via a high-speed wired connection, but with the freedom of true mobility. Developed with a range of users in mind, the service enables large enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses and mobile professionals to conduct business anytime, anywhere in the BroadbandAccess coverage area via a secure, true high-speed data connection.
As an example of the productivity benefits the company's wireless broadband provides to mobile and business professionals, construction supervisors can capture important details about building projects and wirelessly transmit the information to the contractor; food and beverage company representatives can re-order stock wirelessly while at the point of sale; and realtors can browse the latest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings from a client's living room and manage other tasks via BroadbandAccess-powered PDAs or laptops.
The company's high-speed network also enables its V CAST multimedia service, which offers consumers the ability to download full-length songs right to Verizon Wireless phones or via PCs. Customers can download songs directly to their phone for $1.99 and receive two copies of each song: one for the phone and one to download onto their PC. Or they can purchase songs online for 99 cents each and download a copy onto their phone via a USB cable for free. To access V CAST video content and games, customers need a V CAST-enabled phone and a $15.00 monthly subscription added to their Verizon Wireless calling plan.
For a limited time, Verizon Wireless customers with a new or existing voice plan can receive unlimited BroadbandAccess service for $59.99 monthly access for Internet browsing, e-mail and intranet access. A new two-year customer agreement is required. For non-voice customers, BroadbandAccess is available for $79.99 monthly access with a new one- or two-year customer agreement. The company's BroadbandAccess service is also available as an integrated option on select notebook computers: Dell (Latitude 620 and 820), Lenovo (ThinkPad Z60, T60 and X60) and HP (Compaq nc6140).
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, 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.