TAMPA, FL — Verizon Wireless announced today that it invested nearly $75 million on new cell sites, network facilities and other technologies to enhance services and coverage throughout Florida in the first six months of 2008.
Since 2000, the company has spent more than $1.8 billion on network enhancements in Florida, and more than $45 billion throughout the nation. Last year, Verizon Wireless invested more than $178 million in its Florida network.
Enhancements here in 2008 include the expansion of the company's high-speed Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) network across the state. This technology provides access to services such as V CAST, which allows customers to stream video clips, play cutting-edge 3D games and download full song tracks over the air, and VZ Navigator, a location-based service offering maps, audible driving directions, traffic updates, gas station locations and pricing, and more.
EV-DO technology also allows the highest speed wireless connection to BroadbandAccess, the company's business data service, which offers average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and upload speeds of 500-800 kbps. BroadbandAccess customers can wirelessly access their e-mail and calendars, the Internet and other information anytime, anywhere via a high-speed secure connection.
"We take pride in providing our tech-savvy customers with the latest and most advanced wireless products and services," said Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "The continuous investments we make across the state ensure that Floridians can enjoy the most reliable wireless service every day."
The installation of new transmission sites also is a key part of the ongoing network enhancement to ensure the most reliable wireless coverage for residents. Nearly 50 new wireless transmission sites have been activated in Florida so far this year. About 85 percent have their own on-site generators and new expanded fuel tanks to extend power-generating capacity.
Additional highlights of the Verizon Wireless network enhancement include:
- Verizon Wireless began construction of a high-tech $50 million switching facility in South Florida that will expand and reinforce wireless network capacity and help enhance services for customers throughout the region. The 45,000-square-foot Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO), to be located on five acres in west Broward County, will serve as the main call-processing hub for South Florida, serving an area from Key West to Broward County. It will also serve as the company's emergency operations center for South Florida during and after significant events like hurricanes.
- Verizon Wireless completed a $20 million enhancement to the company's Tampa Bay switching facility, which doubled its traffic capacity and back-up power redundancies. The MTSO handles all wireless traffic within the core Tampa Bay area, as well as surrounding areas such as Sarasota, Lakeland and Citrus County. The upgraded facility was built to withstand a Category 5 storm and equipped with large-scale back-up power generation for hurricanes and other special circumstances.
- Verizon Wireless deployed two high-tech COWs (Cells on Wheels) outside of the Daytona International Speedway to boost wireless coverage for the hundreds of thousands of visiting race fans, news media, local residents and businesses during this year's Daytona 500. The COWs, each with a 75-foot telescoping antenna, 10 dedicated voice channels and two high-speed data channels, strengthened the network during the spike in wireless calls; text, picture and video messages; Internet connections; and other wireless traffic related to the race and other speedway events in February.
- Verizon Wireless network technicians (who serve as the inspiration for the famous TV Test Man) traveled more than 500,000 miles across the state so far this year in special vehicles equipped with phones, wireless data devices and computers to measure the quality of voice and data calls on Verizon Wireless and other carriers.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 67.2 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: 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.