Bloomington, IL — Verizon Wireless, the only major carrier with a 30-day network Test Drive pledge that pays for calls if a customer isn't satisfied and switches to another carrier, announced today that it has expanded the national rollout of its high-speed wireless broadband network, based on Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) technology, to the Bloomington-Normal area, the area's first operational 3G network.
The launch of the wireless broadband network means Verizon Wireless customers in the Bloomington-Normal area can access the company's high-speed wireless network and enjoy two flagship services: BroadbandAccess, the company's high-speed wireless service, with average user speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps), geared toward mobile professionals and business customers; and V CAST, a consumer-oriented multimedia service that offers music and short content on demand, including cutting-edge 3D games, music videos, news, weather and sports.
The network expansion into Bloomington-Normal enables Verizon Wireless' business customers to experience a truly mobile office experience with BroadbandAccess, giving them access to their calendars, the Internet, e-mail and critical business information residing behind their companies' firewalls. With the added benefit of V CAST, consumers also now have access to the most comprehensive selection of downloadable music, high-quality videos and the coolest 3D games found anywhere.
BroadbandAccess offers true mobility with the connection speed of a high-speed wired connection. 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.
Business customers can access information when they are on the road-at customer locations, at job sites or in taxis-with BroadbandAccess. Customers can download a 1 Megabyte e-mail attachment (for example, a small PowerPoint® presentation or large PDF file) or receive three digital pictures (each 400 x 600 pixels) in about 20 seconds. Also, customers who travel outside the BroadbandAccess coverage area with an EV-DO device will switch seamlessly to Verizon Wireless' existing NationalAccess network and experience average data transmission speeds between 60 and 80 kbps with bursts up to 144 kbps.
"Our BroadbandAccess service gives our business customers three key advantages in wireless communication-speed, mobility and security," said T.J. Fox, presidentIllinois/Wisconsin region, Verizon Wireless. "With these advantages comes an increase in productivity and bottom-line business benefits."
The company's high-speed network also enables its V CAST multimedia services, offering customers the ability to download full song tracks through V CAST Music, play cutting-edge 3D games and stream video clips through V CAST Video straight to handsets. With content updated daily, customers can watch dozens of on-demand videos, including breaking news, weather, sports highlights and the hottest entertainment clips with V CAST Video.
V CAST Music includes access to a catalog of more than 1.9 million songs and is the world's most comprehensive, over-the-air mobile music service. Customers with V CAST Music can download song tracks directly to their Verizon Wireless handsets or Windows® XP PCs.
This faster network coverage area in Bloomington-Normal spans approximately 770 square miles around the two cities and covers routes between them along U.S. Interstate 55 and Highway 51 that extends through the downtown area of each city. Nearby towns located around the Bloomington area-Gillum, Shirley, Covel, Yuton, Kerrick, Bloomington Heights-are within the coverage area.
"The Bloomington-Normal area is a vital market with dynamic, tech-savvy businesses and consumers," Fox said. "The launch of our broadband network here provides our customers with access to the very latest wireless technology."
The multi-million dollar expansion entailed installing high-tech wireless hardware and software in wireless transmission sites throughout the region. It is part of an ongoing network investment by Verizon Wireless that has totaled $37 billion nationally in the last seven 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. The company has invested more than $818 million in the past five years in its Illinois network.
Verizon Wireless was the first national wireless provider to commercially launch a high-speed wireless broadband network in the United States. The Bloomington-Normal area is the latest to be added to Verizon Wireless' wireless broadband network coverage area, now available to more than 200 million people. Verizon Wireless' broadband network was introduced in Illinois in Chicagoland in January 2005, and expanded into Peoria, Springfield and Decatur within the past year.
For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a local Verizon Wireless Communications Store or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
About Test Drive
Verizon Wireless recently introduced its 30-day Test Drive, an industry first that lets customers experience its network virtually risk-free for 30 days. If customers are not satisfied with their experience and take their number to another carrier, Verizon Wireless will refund their money for calls, equipment, activation fee and taxes. For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 million customers. The largest U.S. 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.