CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — With preparations near completion for the start of the 2007 hurricane season on June 1, Verizon Wireless "Test Men and Women" are all across south Texas to fine tune its all-digital network.
Over the last month, test teams and technicians have been traveling in specially outfitted test vehicles to ensure reliable, comprehensive coverage and call quality across the Verizon Wireless network in coastal areas of Texas.
"Because of our network's reliability, Verizon Wireless has played a crucial role for both emergency responders and local customers during past emergencies," said Luis M. Cruz, region president of Verizon Wireless. "With our continued investment and preparation of our wireless network across the state, we are confident we will again provide stand-out reliability if a hurricane strikes Texas this year."
Highlights of Verizon Wireless 2007 hurricane season preparation include:
- More than 95 percent of the individual transmission sites operated by Verizon Wireless in the coastal regions of Texas have their own on-site generators. This capability is critical when power goes out and if 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), which are self-powered transmitters that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity. Network teams also have nearly generators ready to go to further strengthen the network.
- Verizon Wireless is fully prepared to again quickly set up wireless emergency communication centers (WECCs) to serve residents and rescue agencies in the area(s) in the greatest need.
- The company has developed and practiced a comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers around the state in the case of a storm or crisis.
- Verizon Wireless has a new Communications Store on wheels ready to roll. The 35-foot trailer will allow Verizon Wireless to maintain retail operations in areas when company stores are not able to open or when retail services are needed in areas where natural disaster strikes, enabling customers to purchase the wireless phones and accessories they need.
- The company has expanded its EV-DO wireless broadband network across Texas, including launching its highest-speed Rev A network in major markets. This allows the most advanced wireless services (downloads, location-based applications, video messaging, etc.) and makes the network stronger and more robust for data, voice and all heightened wireless usage by residents and emergency agencies, especially during crises. Rev A technology features typical download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) and average upload speeds of 500-800 kbps.
The new technologies, facilities and other network-strengthening efforts are part of a continued investment in the state over the past seven years. Nationally, in that same time period, Verizon Wireless has spent more than $37 billion to enhance the digital wireless network.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 66,000 employees nationwide. The company 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.