SALT LAKE CITY, UT — As demand for wireless service continued to grow in 2001, Verizon Wireless invested heavily in its Utah digital wireless network to prepare for next generation, high-speed data services and provide customers with top quality wireless service. The company also introduced new, high-value wireless voice and data products designed to meet customers' needs for simple, affordable wireless communications wherever they go.
To make shopping for wireless services easy and convenient, Verizon Wireless opened four new retail locations in Utah during the past year, bringing the total number of company-owned Communications Stores and mall kiosks in Utah to 11, employing more than 50 people.
"Our aggressive retail expansion last year continued to increase our presence in the market and had a positive impact in the communities we serve, especially given the economic turndown" said Marni Walden, president of the company's Mountain Region.
The company also invested more than $40 million to enhance its wireless network in Utah. To stay ahead of the growth in customer demand and to prepare for projected increases in call volumes during the Olympics, the investment was made to add digital capacity to existing switches and cell sites, as well as to add new technology and build new cell sites. The investment increases the capacity for wireless calls by nearly 70 percent throughout the area, improves coverage and provides customers with a reliable, high quality wireless service.
"What matters most to customers is being able to make and receive wireless calls when and where they want to, whether it's an emergency, a business call or for personal convenience," Walden said. "An expansive, high-capacity network is essential for reliable service. Our $4 billion investment in our nationwide network in 2001 demonstrates our continuing commitment to our customers."
Verizon Wireless also opened a $42 million state-of-the-art customer service call center in West Valley City, bringing nearly 1000 new jobs to the local economy. This marked the first time a U. S. wireless company has selected Utah as home for a major customer service call center.
In addition, the company introduced a number of new products and services last year, including SingleRateSM multi-state calling plans, with no long distance or roaming charges. Verizon Wireless' two-way text messaging capability made its debut in 2001, as well. Using Mobile MessengerSM, customers can swap fast, discreet messages in a meeting, a restaurant or the mall. The company also introduced a new prepaid wireless service called [FREEUP] that can be used anywhere in the United States, and includes two-way text messaging, voice mail and call waiting. With [FREEUP], there are no monthly bills, no credit checks and no contract to sign - attractive features for young adults and security users.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the leading wireless communications provider in the U.S., with the largest wireless network and more than 29.4 million customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
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