News Release

Verizon Wireless Opens For Business In Houghton, Michigan

Company Relocates Former Alltel Store to Expanded Location to Better Serve Area Customers

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October 18, 2009

Carolyn Schamberger
carolyn.schamberger1@verizonwireless.com
847-619-4282Dana Carpenter
dana@corecreative.com
414-299-3951

HOUGHTON, MI — Verizon Wireless opened its doors over the weekend to serve former Alltel and new customers in Houghton giving them access to a full suite of innovative wireless products and services.

This weekend marked the completion of the re-branding of Alltel stores to Verizon Wireless and the billing conversion for former Alltel customers in Houghton. The nation’s largest wireless provider relocated the former Alltel store at 902 Razorback Dr. to an expanded, state-of-the-art location at 960 Razorback Dr. All employees from the former Alltel location have transferred to the new location, including store manager Charlie Kariainen.

. “We have worked diligently over the past ten months to ensure that the transition to Verizon Wireless would be as seamless as possible for former Alltel customers,” said T.J. Fox, region president for Verizon Wireless. “Verizon Wireless now welcomes the opportunity to deliver to Houghton customers the best value in wireless today, which includes the best network, best products and services and best customer service in the industry.”

Verizon Wireless completed its purchase of Alltel in January and since then has been preparing to integrate the two companies’ billing systems and to re-brand and re-merchandise stores so it can better transition former Alltel customers and welcome new customers to Verizon Wireless. The company has also begun integrating its network with that of Alltel—re-homing cell sites to the Verizon Wireless network and upgrading Alltel’s high-speed data network—and expects to complete the entire integration within the next two years.

Best of the Best in the Industry
Former Alltel customers in Houghton will keep their same phone numbers, contract terms and handsets. They also can choose to upgrade to a wide variety of Verizon Wireless products and services, which were previously not available to them. These customers may now enjoy:

  • An extensive voice and wireless data network supported by a team of real-life test men and women that drives the local roads to test network performance and determine areas for improvements.
  • Best-in-class devices including the BlackBerry® Storm™, BlackBerry Tour™, HTC Imagio™ and other global smartphones; MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, the latest netbooks with built-in wireless modems, and more.
  • A mobile-to-mobile calling family of more than 80 million people across the nation.
  • High-value services, including Friends and Family® that offer customers unlimited voice calling to and from up to 10 numbers (including landlines), as well as other services such as Push to Talk, V CAST Video and V CAST Music with Rhapsody.
  • An expanded network of retail stores that includes re-branded Alltel locations as well as existing Verizon Wireless stores.
  • Service provided by employees who have helped the company maintain the highest customer loyalty in the industry.

Partnering with the Community
As part of the integration, Verizon Wireless also is launching its HopeLine® Phone Recycling program in former Alltel markets throughout the state. Through the program, individuals can provide assistance to domestic violence victims, and agencies that help them, by donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories to be refurbished, recycled or sold. The proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence through agency grants and the donation of wireless phones and service. Since 2001, HopeLine’s national phone recycling and reuse program has collected more than 6 million wireless phones, awarded more than $7 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations throughout the country and by the end of this year, will have donated more than 80,000 HopeLine phones with 240 million minutes of airtime to victims, survivors and domestic violence organizations.

About the New Communications Store
The 2,013-square-foot store showcases a highly interactive retail concept, and its design integrates a number of systems and operational enhancements devised to streamline the sales process and increase customer satisfaction. Among the new store’s features are:

  • Oversized high-definition plasma screens showcasing the latest wireless multimedia applications such as V CAST and Get It Now®.
  • A bright, open Demo Bar where customer interaction is guided by a product-savvy sales staff, and where customers can get a sense of the look and feel of a broad range of equipment and services.
  • More than 75 working models of handsets, air cards and other devices for customers to handle and test.
  • A Greeter Kiosk that enables customers to check in electronically before browsing the store and then talk with a representative who will already have their account background and reason for visiting the store keyed up on the customer-service computer.
  • A Bill Payment Kiosk that enables customers to pay their bills quickly and easily using checks, cash or credit/debit cards.
  • Customer Service and Technical Support departments that make it easy for customers to get account information and service and address technical issues from the trained in-store staff.

“Wireless technology is ever evolving and consumers are more in-tune with the industry than ever before,” said Fox. “This expanded location and creative store design puts customers in the driver’s seat and enables them to experience our latest technology firsthand—a shopping experience currently not offered by any other wireless provider.”

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving 87.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 87,000 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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