CLEVELAND — Cell phones are amazing tools. They access the Internet, send instant message alerts, play catchy tunes and, in some European countries, are even used to pay for things. Now they can change highway signs.
Verizon Wireless just became the first wireless carrier commissioned to talk to the digital highway message signs used on the Ohio Turnpike for safety and traffic management. Using Verizon Wireless phones as data transmission tools, the Ohio Turnpike Commission remotely transmits changes to the highway message signs from their telecommunications headquarters in Berea. A software program allows the Commission to communicate directly with the 36 highway signs located throughout the state that are now equipped with wireless modems to "read" the data signal from the Verizon Wireless phones.
Highway message signs are located every 25 miles along the Ohio Turnpike to continually warn motorists of delays due to construction, weather and accidents, divert traffic and generally keep drivers safe and traveling unhindered.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL), Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD), and GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.
Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter
About the Great Lakes Area
The Great Lakes Area of Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. The Great Lakes Area includes the Greater Chicago market and Northern and Central Illinois; the Greater Indianapolis market and most of Indiana; the Greater St. Louis and Cape Girardeau markets of Missouri; the Greater Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison markets and other areas of Wisconsin; Detroit, and Southeast and Central Michigan markets; and the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland markets and much of Ohio. The Great Lakes Area serves more than 5.6 million customers and has a potential customer base of 41.2 million.