TAMPA, FL — Experts have predicted that nine hurricanes will form in the Atlantic Ocean in 2011, with five of those storms developing into major hurricanes packing sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or more.
With hurricane season beginning June 1, Verizon Wireless has prepared its Florida network to serve customers in the event of major storms, other emergencies and every day.
Network enhancements since last year’s storm season include launching its most advanced 4G LTE services in numerous Florida markets; adding capacity to more than 700 high-speed 3G cell sites across the state; installing new in-building network systems at hospitals, government and emergency facilities, high-traffic public venues and other key locations; and integrating 100+ former Alltel cell sites and several network facilities into the Verizon Wireless network.
In addition, Verizon Wireless has five “super-switch” network processing centers across Florida (Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Jupiter and Pembroke Pines), which are designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes. With hardened shells, these facilities also feature large-scale on-site power generation, various redundant operations and technologies, and other back-up systems to ensure the company’s Florida network remains strong, running and reliable.
“Wireless communication is critical to Floridians, especially during storms and other severe circumstances,” said Pam Tope, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. “We work hard to maintain the strongest infrastructure and provide the best, most reliable services to our customers in any situation.”
Other Verizon Wireless ongoing efforts to ensure a reliable network during the storm season and year-round include:
- A comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across Florida in the case of a storm or other crisis.
- Network technicians, who serve as the inspiration for the famous TV Test Man commercials, travel hundreds of thousands of miles across Florida in six high-tech vehicles to measure the quality of Verizon Wireless voice and data service calls all across the state.
- The company has a fleet of dozens of Cells on Wheels (COWS), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on trailers (GOaTS) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity.
- Pre-arranging fuel delivery to mobile units and generators to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.
- Erecting new digital cell sites, of which about 75 percent have their own on-site generators and new expanded fuel tanks to extend their power-generating capacity.
These initiatives are part of a network investment exceeding $2.2 billion in Florida since the company formed in 2000. Nationally, the company has invested more than $65 billion to increase the coverage and capacity of its premier nationwide network, and to add new services.
For more information on the Verizon Wireless network, products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: To accompany a Verizon Wireless Test Man, tour a network facility or emergency command center, or obtain broadcast-quality video B-roll and still images of network operations/emergency preparations, contact Chuck Hamby at 813-615-4803).
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 94 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 82,000 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.