News Release

Verizon Wireless Expands 3G Network In Franklin County, Massachusetts With Three New Cell Sites

Unicel Network Integration Nears Completion, Additional Upgrades to Existing 3G Cell Sites across Four Towns Effectively Doubles Network Coverage

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May 6, 2009

Mike Murphy
Michael.Murphy@VerizonWireless.com
781-932-1213Diane Fortier
diane@matternow.com
978-499-9250 x 225

WILMINGTON, MA — Verizon Wireless today announced it added three new 3G cell sites in Franklin County, Mass. The company also upgraded equipment at existing 3G cell sites across the region – effectively doubling network coverage in Erving, Greenfield, Northfield and Shelburne. These investments significantly expand Verizon Wireless’ voice and 3G high-speed wireless broadband network leadership throughout Western Massachusetts. More than 100 new 3G cell sites have been activated in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts as part of Verizon Wireless’ ongoing integration of the legacy Unicel wireless network.

“The 3G network we’ve built in Massachusetts is simply unprecedented,” explains Ken Dixon, president of Verizon Wireless' New England Region. “One-hundred percent of our CDMA cell sites in Massachusetts and across New England are 3G, giving local businesses and consumers incredible speed, mobility and reliability at home, in the office and on vacation. Verizon Wireless is New England’s 3G leader; no other wireless carrier can match our network.”

Since acquiring the Unicel network in August 2008 as part of its purchase of Rural Cellular Corporation, Verizon Wireless has worked to integrate those cell sites onto its 3G network. Today, Verizon Wireless has the largest and most reliable voice and 3G data network coverage area in the United States. The company’s advanced network provides exceptional call quality and gives customers with laptops or smartphones the ability to:

  • Increase productivity – faster Internet allows quicker page-loading times and the ability to share files rapidly. Mobile Broadband Internet Access lets laptop users download a one megabyte email attachment in just eight seconds and upload the same file in less than 13 seconds.
  • Benefit from mobile entertainment – quickly download and play music or watch streaming video. V CAST offers customers 3D games, streaming video, breaking news, sports and entertainment clips; V CAST with Rhapsody combines Verizon Wireless’ world-class, over-the-air mobile music service with Rhapsody’s leading desktop solution. Data intensive applications, like music and streaming video, perform optimally on a 3G network.

In addition to adding the new 3G cell sites – 103 new throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine – Verizon Wireless also made upgrades at existing cell sites, rebanding the wireless signal to effectively double coverage areas. Backup batteries and power generators were also added to legacy Unicel cell sites that previously lacked emergency power. Now, more than 90% of Verizon Wireless' cell sites throughout New England have both batteries and permanent generators to maintain the company's cell sites during the loss of commercial power.

“By combining the Verizon Wireless and Unicel networks, we’ve created the most comprehensive 3G coverage of any wireless carrier in New England,” said Richard Enright, director for Network System Performance for Verizon Wireless. “We’ve invested nearly two and a half billion dollars into our New England network in the last nine years, believing that even the most sophisticated cell phone is only as good as the network it runs on.”

Verizon Wireless’ integration of the legacy Unicel network in Franklin County offers better voice and data service to businesses and residents in Erving, Greenfield, Northfield and Shelburne.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 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.

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