NEW ORLEANS, LA — Verizon Wireless network crews and disaster response teams are on alert as Tropical Storm Lee approaches the Gulf Coast. In the event of severe storms, the Verizon Wireless digital network throughout the region stands ready to deliver reliable wireless coverage and service in the event of severe storms.
Verizon Wireless invested over $90 million in south and central Louisiana – areas including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria and Lake Charles – last year to strengthen and enhance its wireless network, ensuring Louisianians comprehensive, reliable wireless coverage in the case of severe weather, and every day.
Network enhancements since last year’s storm season include launching Verizon Wireless’ most advanced 4G LTE services in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Hammond, and installing new in-building network systems at hospitals, government and emergency facilities, high-traffic public venues and other key locations.
In addition, Verizon Wireless has two “super-switch” network processing centers across south Louisiana 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 south Louisiana network remains strong, running and reliable.
“Wireless communication is critical to residents, especially during storms and other severe circumstances,” said Kay Henze – president, Houston/Gulf Coast Region, Verizon Wireless. “We work hard to maintain the strongest infrastructure and provide the best, most reliable services to our customers in any situation.”
Other ongoing effort to ensure a reliable network during the storm season and year-round include:
- A comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across south Louisiana 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 south Louisiana in 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 80 percent have their own on-site generators and new expanded fuel tanks to extend their power-generating capacity.
These initiatives are part of a national network investment exceeding $65 billion to increase the coverage and capacity of Verizon’s 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 Gretchen L. Whitaker 713-219-8028).
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 104 million total wireless connections, including more than 88 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 85,000 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.