BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless’ team of real-life test men and test women drove more than 1 million miles in 2008 – the equivalent of two roundtrips to the moon or 40 trips around the world – to test the company’s and competitors’ networks. Data collected by these test men and women, who inspired Verizon Wireless’ iconic national advertising campaign, helped the company direct its multi-billion dollar network capital expenditure program and is the basis for the company’s “most reliable network” claim.
During their test drives along the nation’s major highways and secondary roads, the team of more than 90 dedicated individuals use sophisticated testing equipment in specially equipped company vehicles to conduct more than 3 million voice call attempts and more than 22 million data tests on the Verizon Wireless network and the networks of major competitors across the U.S.
“Ensuring the reliability of our network is our primary mission. Our customers expect and deserve a consistent quality experience. If we don’t deliver, they will search for someone who can. Therefore, reliability testing is critical not only to meet our own high standards, but to assess how our network performance stacks up against our competitors,” said Anthony Melone, Verizon Wireless senior vice president, chief technical officer and top test man. “Our network is tested, optimized, and retested continuously to ensure our customers receive the best possible wireless service each and every day. The data we collect during these test drives not only provides us with valuable insight into the current customer experience but also helps us forecast future wireless traffic to ensure we keep pace with customer demand.”
In 2008, Verizon Wireless invested $6.5 billion to enhance its nationwide digital network. The enhancements included building new and upgrading existing cell sites; adding new coverage areas and increasing capacity within existing coverage areas; and completing a high-speed wireless broadband network expansion. Since the company was formed in 2000, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $50 billion – an average of $5.5 billion each year – on improvements to its network.
Verizon Wireless’ extensive, nationwide test program is unique and has grown since the company was launched. Every day, as test engineers drive their routes, specialized computers mounted in the cars’ cargo areas generate phonically diverse “conversations” to test wireless voice network performance. These computers also perform various data tests to measure session and task success rates and upload and download speeds. Each of these voice calls, data sessions and tasks are tabulated on autonomous collection equipment inside the test vehicle.
After their routes are complete, network teams download the test results onto specialized computers at Verizon Wireless test centers for compilation and analysis. The resulting data is used not only to compare performance with competitors, but 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.
The voice reliability test results consistently show that the rate of ineffective attempts (a call that is blocked) for the Verizon Wireless national network is lower than any other national carrier. The test results also indicate that voice calls that connect on the Verizon Wireless network are more likely to stay connected for the duration of the call. Similarly, the data reliability test results establish that Verizon Wireless is able to set up data sessions and complete large file downloads and uploads at a greater rate of success than its national competitors.
To learn more about the test men and women who drive the Verizon Wireless network in each region, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/testdriver.html. Interested reporters and other members of the news media are invited to contact the Verizon Wireless media relations representative in their region at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/contacts.html to schedule an interview or ride-along test drive with a local Verizon Wireless test man or woman. For more information about Verizon Wireless’ industry leading awards and recognition for customer satisfaction, visit http://aboutus.vzw.com/awards.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 80 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.