MIAMI, FL — Verizon Wireless, which operates the nation's most reliable and largest voice and 3G data network, is ready for the 2010 Hurricane Season, which begins June 1. The Florida network team recently activated its fifth "Super Switch" facility in the state.
This new communication hub, which was completed earlier this year in Broward County, joins similar "Super Switch " facilities in Tampa Bay, Jupiter, Orlando and Jacksonville that are designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and serve as the main call processing centers in their respective areas for Verizon Wireless customers.
These facilities are key parts of the company's reinforced infrastructure that maintains network reliability for customers in even the most severe storms and circumstances. In addition to hardened shells, they feature large-scale on-site power generation, various redundant operations and technologies, and other back-up systems to ensure the Verizon Wireless network remains strong, running and reliable.
The switch facilities also serve as emergency operation centers when hurricanes or other emergencies arise.
"The public continues to rely on wireless communication more each day, especially during storms and other critical circumstances here in the state," said Pam Tope, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. "As the nation's largest wireless carrier, we take our role in this public safety issue very seriously."
The company has invested more than $240 million in its Florida network during the past year, and $2.1 billion in the state since the company was formed. Nationally, Verizon Wireless has spent more than $59 billion to enhance its digital wireless network since 2000.
Other Verizon Wireless ongoing efforts to ensure a reliable network during the storm season and year-round include:
- A comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across Florida in the case of a storm or other crisis.
- Verizon Wireless network technicians, who serve as the inspiration for the famous TV Test Man commercials, travel the state in six high-tech vehicles to measure the quality of voice and data calls on Verizon Wireless and other carriers.
- The company has a fleet of dozens of Cells on Wheels (COWS), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on trailers (GOaTS) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity.
- Pre-arranging fuel delivery to mobile units and generators to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.
- Erecting new digital cell sites, of which about 80 percent have their own on-site generators and new expanded fuel tanks to extend their power-generating capacity.
- Installation of advanced in-building systems to boost wireless coverage and services at hospitals, government and emergency facilities, high-traffic public venues and other locations throughout Florida.
- Integrating Alltel Wireless facilities into the more advanced Verizon Wireless network, so former Alltel customers will benefit from the nation's most reliable voice and 3G data network.
This year, Verizon Wireless plans to launch its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless services in 25 to 30 markets nationally. LTE will offer customers significantly greater network capacity than even today's most advanced 3G coverage.
For more information on the Verizon Wireless network, products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
(Editor's Note: To accompany a Verizon Wireless Test Man, tour a network facility or emergency command center, or obtain broadcast-quality video B-roll and still images of network operations/emergency preparations, contact Chuck Hamby at 813-404-6029).
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving nearly 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 81,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: 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.