BIRMINGHAM, AL — In its continuing effort to provide the best wireless service for businesses, residents and visitors in Alabama, Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, has again expanded its Birmingham network with enhancements to improve coverage and capacity in several parts of the metro area. These areas include Hoover near the Galleria, Cahaba Heights, West Shades Valley, Gardendale, and Warrior. In addition, areas along I-59 and I-20 to the north and east now have increased network capacity.
The Hoover upgrade brings greater network capacity to the area surrounding the Galleria shopping area, as well as to areas near the I-65 and I-459 intersection. This also includes the Hoover Met, Riverchase, and parts of Pelham. The added capacity in the Cahaba Heights region will cover the Highway 280 corridor which encompasses Oak Mountain, Inverness, and the Summit shopping center. Capacity is also being added to the West Shades Valley region, which will enhance service in areas between Bluff Park and Bessemer. To the north, capacity is being added to the Verizon Wireless network in both Gardendale and Warrior, as well as places to the east like Argo and Pell City along I-59 and I-20.
In addition to the greater Birmingham network, Verizon Wireless is making similar network investments in Tuscaloosa, Florence, Rogersville, Courtland, Jacksonville, and Gadsden. This comes on the heels of first quarter 2006 improvements in 14 other areas of the state. Demand for Verizon Wireless services continues as the company added a record 1.7 million net new customers in the first quarter 2006, for a total of 53 million customers nationwide. At the end of the first quarter 2006, the company was the fastest growing in the industry in terms of customers, adding 7.6 million net new customers in the past 12 months. Verizon Wireless also ranked on top in the Southeast including Alabama for highest call quality, customer satisfaction and best for business according to the most recent JD Power reports.
"Our continuous investment in Birmingham and across the state of Alabama -- reflects our ongoing commitment to exceed the expectations of our customers and to provide them with the reliable, high quality service they expect from Verizon Wireless, wherever they are," said Jim McGean, Verizon Wireless president for the Alabama / Georgia region.
Reliable service is fundamental to customer loyalty, and Verizon Wireless boasts the highest customer loyalty in the industry. During the first quarter of 2006, Verizon Wireless posted a record low 1.18 percent customer churn rate, which is well below the industry average.
"The value we offer our customers is closely tied to our industry-leading customer retention," McGean said. "Wireless consumers today understand that value is not defined by price alone. A major reason our customers choose Verizon Wireless and stay with us is because we offer the nation's most reliable network."
Verizon Wireless has invested $30 billion - on average $5 billion every year - since the company was formed six years ago to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new capabilities. In Alabama and Georgia, Verizon Wireless invested more than $63 million to date in 2006 in network enhancements to stay ahead of the growing demand for Verizon Wireless products and services in this area.
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Specially equipped Verizon Wireless test vehicles simultaneously test the Verizon Wireless network as well as the networks of as many as seven other wireless providers, using a mobile laptop computer to generate phonically diverse "conversations." If one of your reporters is interested in setting up an interview or ride-along test drive with your locally-based Verizon Wireless test man or woman, please contact Caran Smith at 678-339-4891.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, 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