JACKSONVILLE, FL — As the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots make game plans for the National Football League championship in Jacksonville, teams of Verizon Wireless "test men" and technicians have been preparing for their own "super" challenge. These teams are tasked with providing winning wireless coverage for the tens of thousands of visiting news media and football fans, as well as for local residents and businesses, during nearly two week of pre-game activities throughout north Florida.
Test teams have been checking the Verizon Wireless network throughout Jacksonville and surrounding areas for weeks, making sure strong coverage blankets the region. In addition, permanent sites near the stadium have been upgraded and mobile transmission sites have been installed to help handle the surge in voice and data calls expected before, during and after the game.
One brand new COW (cell site on wheels) one of two positioned near the stadium -- is the most advanced mobile site ever deployed by Verizon Wireless in Florida. It contains eight voice channels and an expanded high-speed data channel, telescopes up to 120 feet and can handle hundreds of phone calls and data transmissions simultaneously.
"Our teams are old pros with the many big events sports championships, car races, even hurricanes -- we have here in Florida," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president. "So, we're confident in our ability to provide reliable service during a high-profile week here in Jacksonville."
At the height of the NFL championship game activities, Verizon Wireless expects to handle hundreds of thousands of calls per hour on its Florida digital network. Many of these calls will be data transmissions as news media and visitors from around the world send videos, photos and text messages over the new Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess network.
Launched in Florida in 2004 and Jacksonville earlier this year, the new wireless broadband technology is the fastest commercially available high-speed wide-area network in the nation.
The build-out of broadband-capable transmission sites is part of the company's $220 million network investment over the past 12 months in Florida. This also includes constructing a state-of-the-art switching station in north Florida and adding 115 new transmission sites across the state to further expand and enhance its network coverage. The Verizon Wireless network is tested by real-life technicians who inspired the company's national "Can you hear me now? Good!" advertising campaign. They conduct more than 300,000 calls monthly on the Verizon Wireless network and other national wireless carriers' networks while traveling over 100,000 miles across Florida in specially-equipped vehicles. *
"These teams are real superstars when it comes to keeping our network operating at maximum efficiency," Lanman said. "They're part of a very big commitment to ensure our network is reliable for customers at special events, and throughout the year."
* Test Man Ride-Along Program
The specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test seven wireless providers, using a computerized program to generate phonically diverse "conversations." Members of the media who are interested in setting up an interview or ride-along with a local member of the Verizon Wireless team of real-life test men and women, please contact Chuck Hamby at 813-615-4803 or via email at email@example.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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.