TAMPA, FL — Verizon Wireless announced today it has launched its wireless broadband network in the core areas of Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties, allowing Southwest Florida customers to utilize the latest high-speed business and entertainment services on their wireless phones, laptop computers and other wireless devices.
The expansion which entailed installing high-tech wireless hardware and software in dozens of wireless transmission sites throughout the region extends the Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess network from Sarasota to as far south as Fort Myers. Hardware and software upgrades are complete, the system has been tested, and an additional 1 million area residents now may enjoy wireless broadband service on the state's most reliable network.
In addition, the high-speed service is scheduled to be available in Manatee and Collier counties within 30 days. This multi-million dollar expansion into Southwest Florida is part of an ongoing network investment by Verizon Wireless that has totaled more than $1 billion in the state and $30 billion nationally over the past six years.
"Southwest Florida is an important, fast-growing market with dynamic, tech-savvy businesses and consumers," said Mike Lanman, Verizon Wireless Florida region president. "The launch of our broadband network here will provide access to the very latest wireless technology and services such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST music and video."
BroadbandAccess allows customers to connect wirelessly to the Internet, download e-mail and applications, and log into their corporate servers via their laptop at broadband speeds. The technology provides mobile workers full access, productivity and security, just as if they were at their desks and attached via a high-speed wired connection, but with the freedom of true mobility.
This wireless broadband experience is made possible by the Verizon Wireless EV-DO (evolution-data optimized) technology, with typical connection speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps), and the capability of reaching speeds in excess of 2.0 mbps.
The technology was first introduced in Florida in the Tampa Bay region and Southeast Florida, and now also is available in the Jacksonville, Orlando and Tallahassee metro areas. The launch into Southwest Florida adds 2,500 square miles of high-speed EV-DO coverage in the state for Verizon Wireless customers.
The Verizon Wireless V CAST service gives customers access to short video content, downloadable music, and cutting-edge 3D games on their mobile phone. With V CAST, customers can get short video content on-demand, including current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming. And music lovers with a V CAST Music-enabled phone are able to download and play their favorite songs all while on-the-go.
In addition to allowing advanced applications such as BroadbandAccess and V CAST, the network upgrade in Southwest Florida will further strengthen the Verizon Wireless network in the event of emergencies. The network stood up well to the extraordinary storm seasons of 2004 and 2005 while other communication networks often suffered substantial disruptions.
"We've seen here in Southwest Florida that a strong, reliable wireless network plays a priceless role in public safety in large-scale emergencies and every day," Lanman said. "Verizon Wireless will continue to heavily invest here to serve residents, businesses and visitors locally and across the state."
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" and data transmissions. 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 e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., 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