LAS VEGAS, NV and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Question: How does Verizon Wireless ensure its network is not only the most reliable today, but is prepared for future growth and expansion? Answer: Through aggressive network investments, including ongoing testing and analysis conducted by a team of real-life test men and women.
In 2009, Verizon Wireless test men and test women traveled more than 1 million miles and conducted more than 3.5 million voice call attempts and more than 19 million data tests on the Verizon Wireless network and the networks of major competitors across the United States. Data collected by Verizon Wireless test men and women helped the company direct its multi-billion dollar network capital expenditure program and is the basis for its "most reliable network" claim.
"Verizon Wireless tests the performance of not only our network, but also our competitors' networks daily to ensure that our customers, including the growing number of smartphone users, experience the highest levels of quality and reliability," said David McCarley, executive director of network for Verizon Wireless. "We are bringing the same commitment to quality and performance to our 4G LTE services that we are testing now and that will become available starting later this year."
The Testing Process
Every day, when test engineers drive their routes, specialized computers mounted in the cars' cargo areas generate phonically diverse "conversations" using Harvard Sentences (http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2010/03/pr2010-03-23j.html) to test wireless voice network performance. These computers also perform various data tests using actual handsets and wireless PC cards installed in the cars' cargo holds to measure session and task success rates and upload and download speeds.
Voice calls, data sessions and tasks are tabulated on collection equipment inside the test vehicle. After the routes are complete, test results are downloaded onto specialized computers at Verizon Wireless test centers for analysis.
How Verizon Wireless Uses the Collected Data
The data collected by Verizon Wireless test men and women is used not only to compare performance with competitors, but to help engineers plan the company's annual network improvement program, including placement of new cell sites and expansion of existing call capabilities in growing communities.
In 2009 alone, Verizon Wireless invested $7 billion to enhance its nationwide digital network. The enhancements included building new and upgrading existing cell sites; adding new coverage areas and increasing capacity within existing coverage areas; and completing a high-speed wireless broadband network expansion. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $55 billion an average of $5.5 billion each year on improvements to its network since the company was formed 10 years ago.
The Results: What Verizon Wireless' Testing Told the Company
Voice reliability test results consistently show that the rate of ineffective attempts (a call that does not go through on the first attempt) for the Verizon Wireless national network is better than any other national carrier. The test results also indicate that voice calls on the Verizon Wireless network are more likely to stay connected for the duration of the call. Similarly, the 3G data reliability test results establish that Verizon Wireless is able to set up data sessions and complete large file downloads and uploads at a greater rate of success than its national competitors.
Meet Verizon Wireless' Real-Life Test Men and Women
To learn more about the men and women who test the Verizon Wireless network in each region, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/testdriver. To view video of a Verizon Wireless test man as he tests the company's network, visit the VerizonWirelessTV channel here on YouTube.
Interested reporters and other members of the news media are invited to contact the Verizon Wireless media relations representative in their region at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/contacts to schedule an interview or ride-along test drive with a local Verizon Wireless test man or woman. For more information about Verizon Wireless' network and to view recent network awards and recognitions, visit
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 91 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: 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.