TALLAHASSEE, Fla — The State of Florida has signed a five-year contract with Verizon Wireless for up to 58,000 wireless phones, devices and service, a deal designed to help Florida government agencies improve operations and efficiency. The contract could save state agencies up to $50 million in operational expenses over the life of the contract, while also generating significant revenue and new customers for Verizon Wireless.
"State officials cited the cost savings, the Verizon Wireless digital network and Push-to-Talk technology as key factors in signing the deal," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless.
Tens of thousands of additional lines could be added over the course of the new contract, depending on the state government's needs and the number of county and city governments who opt to participate in the contract.
In addition to the regular lines under the contract, Verizon Wireless has offered to provide up to 500 phones and free wireless airtime to support the state's response in the event of hurricanes or other significant emergencies. During last year's hurricane season, as other wireless carriers lost coverage during and after the storms, the company provided thousands of phones and millions of minutes in free airtime to relief organizations, the Florida National Guard, and the general public, as well as to federal, state and local agencies.
"The importance of investing in a reliable wireless network was never more clear than last year in Florida," Lanman said. "We're proud to serve the state, and grateful for the opportunity to help local agencies better serve our communities during times of crisis, and every day, with the latest wireless technology and services."
Other network-related facts include:
- Verizon Wireless has invested nearly $1 billion in its Florida wireless network in the past six years, including $220 million in enhancements in 2004.
- Nearly $50 million in upgrades and enhancements were completed at Verizon Wireless switching facilities across the state in 2004, designed to keep network operations secure through even the most severe weather. In 2005, construction will begin on new switching facilities in Orlando and Fort Myers.
- During and after each storm in 2004, the Verizon Wireless network in Florida remained nearly 90 percent operational, and was back to 100 percent within a few days.
- Verizon Wireless technicians logged nearly 300,000 hours in preparation and hurricane response efforts.
- Nearly 80 percent of all Verizon Wireless transmission sites in Florida have their own on-site generators to keep the network operating during power outages.
- More than 100 new transmission sites were added across the state last year, increasing the company's America's ChoiceSM coverage area to nearly 25,000 square miles about 95 percent of the state's inhabitable landmass and more than 95 percent of the state's population.
Powered by Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) technology, the Verizon Wireless data network allows users to surf the Internet, download applications and connect to their corporate servers with typical speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps), and capable of reaching speeds in excess of 2.0 Mbps. The wireless data network's reliability and high speed it is the fastest commercially available wide-area mobile wireless network in the nation is key to making the connections possible and/or practical, allowing large files, photos and other data to download rapidly.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 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 receive 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.