BROWNSVILLE, TX — Verizon Wireless, which owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network serving 45.5 million customers, reports a 99 percent success rate of all measured call attempts in areas impacted by the storm, with nearly 100 percent of all towers in operation, thanks to advance preparation and back-up plans for severe weather.
With several cell towers running off of backup generators and batteries already in place before the storm, service has been virtually uninterrupted during and after Hurricane Emily's landfall. The company invests more than $4 billion annually to expand and upgrade its network, helping to ensure reliable network service year-round.
Verizon Wireless Plans for Emergencies
"Verizon Wireless' success rate proves that our network is built for reliability year round even in an emergency situation like this," said Luis M. Cruz, region president for Verizon Wireless. "Thankfully the worst of the storm missed Texas, but planning for severe weather is an important part of our commitment to build the most reliable wireless network for the Rio Grande Valley."
Network Built for Reliability
The Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back-up power at most facilities, as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations. In the Rio Grande Valley, more than 90 percent of the individual transmission sites operated by Verizon Wireless have their own on-site generators. This capability is critical if power is lost or roads are impassable in the wake of a storm. The company has a fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWS) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS) in place to provide extra network capacity in the Rio Grande Valley.
Verizon Wireless Helps Residents with Communication Needs
The Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in McAllen and Mission are currently open to the public, offering residents the opportunity to place free phone calls, charge their wireless phones and receive troubleshooting on their wireless devices. These services will also be available at the Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in Sunrise Mall in Brownsville, Circuit City in Brownsville and Valle Vista Mall in Harlingen once those locations reopen for business.
Verizon Wireless and emergency officials urge residents to use their wireless phones only when necessary so the network will not be overloaded for emergency workers who are depending on wireless communications in their rescue and restoration operations.
Other emergency communication tips include:
- Keep wireless phone batteries and extras charged whenever possible, such as with a vehicle charger or an outlet with safe, available electricity.
- Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.
- Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers and program them into your phone.
- If having to dial 9-1-1, remember to hit the "Send" key and state your location.
Video footage with helpful tips for consumers to prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
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 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.
About Verizon Wireless' Severe Weather Preparations
Verizon Wireless network has outperformed other wireless providers in previous hurricanes. In the aftermaths of hurricanes Frances and Ivan that swept through the Florida/Gulf Coast region of the U.S. last year, Verizon Wireless Test Men and Women checked the company's wireless network and its competitors' in drive tests and found the Verizon Wireless network significantly outperformed the competition across the region, again living up to its reputation as the nation's most reliable wireless network. This year, Verizon Wireless testing in the Gulf Coast reported a 99 percent success rate of all measured call attempts on the company's network in areas impacted by Hurricane Dennis, with 95 percent of all towers in operation, thanks to advance preparation and back-up plans for severe weather.