MIAMI, FL — Verizon Wireless has completed the first phase of 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.
Reinforced exterior walls and hundreds of interior trusses have been erected on the 45,000-square-foot Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) located on five acres in west Broward County.
Construction of the latest Verizon Wireless “super switch” is scheduled to be complete this summer, with full operation planned for later in the year.
The facility will serve as the company’s main call-processing hub for South Florida, serving an area from Key West to Broward County. It will have the capacity to handle tens of millions of voice calls and wireless data transmissions (text and picture messages, downloads, emails, wireless internet connections and more) each day.
The new MTSO will also serve as the Verizon Wireless emergency operations center in South Florida, and be home to a fleet of COWs (cell on wheels), COLTs (cell on light trucks) and GOATs (generators on trucks) for use during and after significant events like hurricanes.
The structure, designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, will be equipped with large-scale back-up power generation, further enhancing the everyday and emergency strength of the Verizon Wireless network.
The building is modeled after facilities completed in the last four years in Jacksonville and Orlando. In addition, Verizon Wireless completed a $20 million enhancement and hardening in 2008 of its switching facility in the Tampa Bay area.
“We’re right on track with this new state-of-the-art switching center to reinforce the reliability of our network here in South Florida and across the state,” said Pam Tope, Verizon Wireless Florida region president. “We have a very mobile and tech-savvy population here, to go with the many sports championships, theme parks, and other attractions and events that bring millions of visitors from all over the world. This is a big job for our network, so we make even bigger investments to make sure we stay the best in the business.”
Verizon Wireless has invested $1.8 billion in the state to enhance its digital network since the company was formed.
In 2008, $155 million was invested here, including the work on the switching facilities, building new transmission sites and upgrading thousands of cell sites to power the Verizon Wireless 3G high-speed wireless network with EV-DO Rev A technology throughout the state.
The new switch also will eventually play a key role as the company’s 4G – or Long Term Evolution – technology is deployed throughout South Florida. Verizon Wireless previously announced that its LTE technology will begin deployment in the U.S. in 2009.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 80 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.