BOUNDARY WATERS, MN — WHO:
Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network.
Northeastern Minnesota, along the Gunflint Trail, near the U.S.-Canadian border.
Verizon Wireless has been called upon by the Minnesota State Forest Office to provide vital communications to first responders battling the 30,000-acre Ham Lake fire along the Gunflint Trail in northeastern Minnesota.
The company's network team has activated a mobile cell site at Gunflint Tower on the Gunflint Trail and provided twenty cellphones to provide wireless communications to firefighters. The cell site provides coverage in the Gunflint Lodge area, which is the staging area for emergency personnel. A second Cell on Light Truck (COLT) has been deployed to the area and may be able to expand the wireless coverage area.
These COLTs are self-contained mobile cell sites specifically designed for rapid and short-term response, and each site can process thousands of calls an hour, enabling emergency response teams to use their wireless phones concurrently.
In addition to its fleet of mobile equipment, Verizon Wireless' nationwide network reliability is supported by industry-leading redundancy and maintenance measures, which have proven particularly valuable during natural disasters and other emergencies. Standard Verizon Wireless network-reliability features include battery back-up power at all facilities as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations.
Nationwide, Verizon Wireless has invested $37 billion during the last seven years. On average, that amount represents $5 billion per year since the company's inception, with an actual investment of $6 billion in 2005 alone. In Minnesota, Verizon Wireless invested $84.5 million in network enhancements in 2006.
B-Roll and high-quality still photographs of Verizon Wireless' mobile cell sites used for disaster response can be found at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 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 66,000 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.