CHICAGO, IL — Verizon Wireless announced today it invested more than $179.5 million in 2008 to enhance its digital network in Illinois. The enhancements included building new – and upgrading existing – cell sites, increasing coverage areas and capacity within existing coverage areas, and expanding its high-speed wireless broadband network to Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, Rockford and Springfield.
“Customers can expect Verizon Wireless to continue investing in our Illinois network in 2009,” said T.J. Fox, president – Illinois/Wisconsin region, Verizon Wireless. “Network reliability is the No. 1 reason that customers choose and stay with Verizon Wireless. Getting through on the first try and maintaining a connection are important to our customers. We continue to optimize our network so that it remains the most reliable in the nation.”
Since the company was formed in 2000, Verizon Wireless has invested nearly $1.2 billion on improvements to its network in Illinois, including the following upgrades made in 2008:
- Fifty-seven new cell sites were activated statewide to improve network coverage and capacity, enabling more customers to use their wireless phones concurrently to make voice calls; send and receive e-mail and text, picture and video messages; access the Internet; view high-quality videos; and download music, games and ringtones, while enjoying clearer reception and fewer dropped calls.
- Equipment on 395 existing cell sites throughout the state was upgraded, which further improved network capacity.
- Permanent backup generators were installed at 56 Illinois cell sites to ensure network functionality during times of crisis.
- The company’s high-speed wireless network was expanded to 106 cell sites across Illinois, including Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, Rockford and Springfield. The high-speed 3G wireless network provides Verizon Wireless customers with access to two prime services:
- Mobile Broadband, the enhanced high-speed wireless service that equips Verizon Wireless’ business customers with a truly untethered mobile office experience, enabling them to wirelessly access their calendars, the Internet, e-mail and critical business information residing behind their companies’ firewalls; and
- V CAST, a consumer-oriented multimedia service that gives customers access to the most comprehensive selection of downloadable music, high-quality videos and the coolest 3D games found anywhere.
These network improvements are part of Verizon Wireless’ continual effort to expand coverage, improve capacity and enhance the quality of its wireless voice and data network in Illinois and throughout the country. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $50 billion since it was formed – $5.5 billion on average every year – to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services.
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.