ORLANDO, FL and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — In a continuing demonstration of its commitment to provide customers with a superior wireless experience, Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, today announced, on the eve of the CTIA WIRELESS 2007® trade show, that the company has enhanced its formidable network testing capabilities by nearly doubling its nationwide fleet of drive test vehicles and its team of real-life test men and test women.
Now, 98 Verizon Wireless test engineers nationwide are dedicated full-time to driving and testing nearly one million miles in specially equipped, company-owned and -operated vehicles to measure the performance of the company's network as well as competitors' networks. The company had more than 50 test men and women when it became Verizon Wireless seven years ago. Verizon Wireless' most reliable national wireless network claim is based on network studies performed by these real-life test men and test women. To read examples of Verizon Wireless' Network Reliability Studies in locations from coast-to-coast, visit http://aboutus.vzw.com/bestnetwork/reliability.html.
The additional vehicles, which cost approximately $240,000 each when fully equipped, represent an additional investment of more than $11 million in rolling stock in the past two years to test wireless networks.
"Network quality has always been a priority for us and our network tests, conducted day after day and year after year, have consistently shown that we do operate the one and only most reliable wireless network in the U.S. with the lowest percentage of ineffective attempts and lost calls among all national carriers," said Dick Lynch, executive vice president and chief technical officer for Verizon Wireless. "With our expanded network testing, we will now be covering more roadways and making more test calls, allowing us to continue to make decisions on network enhancements and investments that will provide optimum performance and the best service for our customers."
Using sophisticated testing equipment, these full-time company employees who inspired Verizon Wireless' iconic test man advertising campaign conduct more than three million voice call attempts and more than 16 million data tests annually on the Verizon Wireless network and the networks of our major competitors in each market. As part of the testing program, laptop computers in the vehicles generate phonically diverse "conversations" to test wireless network performance. Each call is tabulated on computerized equipment inside the test vehicle as either a successful call, an ineffective attempt (a call that is blocked) or a lost call (a call that connects, but drops). After completing the routes, network teams download the test results onto specialized computers at Verizon Wireless network test centers for compilation and analysis. The data is used not only to compare performance with competitors', but also to help engineers plan the company's annual network improvement program, including placement of new cell sites and expansion of existing call capabilities in growing communities. Last year, through this improvement program, over $6 billion was invested in the Verizon Wireless network.
Now, Verizon Wireless is inviting customers to "take the Verizon Wireless network for a spin" to experience the nation's most reliable wireless network on their own. Starting March 26, customers who sign up for the America's Choice® or America's Choice with Push to Talk Calling Plan can "test drive" Verizon Wireless for 30 days. If at any point during the 30-day Test Drive customers are not satisfied with their experience and take their number to another wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless will refund their money for their calls, equipment, activation fee and taxes, as well as release them from their contract without an early termination fee when they return their phone within the Test Drive period.*
Verizon Wireless has invested $35 billion in the last seven years $5 billion on average every year since the company was formed and more than $6 billion in 2006 to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services.
As part of the company's continuing demonstration of its commitment to provide customers with superior network performance, Verizon Wireless also announced today that the company has extended the trial period in its Worry Free Guarantee® from 15 days to 30 days. Customers will now receive a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on any product they purchase from Verizon Wireless. For additional information about the company's Worry Free Guarantee, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/globalText?textName=WORRY_FREE_GUARANTEE&jspName=support/worryFree.jsp.
(EDITORS NOTE: Members of the news media covering the CTIA Wireless Association trade show in Orlando are invited to get a first-hand look at one of the Verizon Wireless test vehicles and talk with one of the company's test engineers. The vehicle will be on display on March 26 in front of the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando, 6050 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819 check for times when one of our real-life test men will be on hand. Contact Tom Pica for details.)
*Customers' activation fees, monthly voice access charge and any voice overage charges will be credited. Customers will remain responsible for all other charges, including surcharges, data services & downloads. An early termination fee will apply unless phone is returned. For more information, please visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2007/03/pr2007-03-23.html.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 59 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 65,000 employees nationwide. The company 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.