Verizon Wireless announced today that it spent $175 million to enhance services and coverage to customers throughout Florida during 2007. The company’s ongoing network investment now totals $1.6 billion in Florida alone and $47 billion nationally over the past seven years.
Enhancements in Florida during 2007 included the statewide activation of the company’s high-speed Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) network. The Rev. A network allows customers to access the latest productivity and entertainment applications on their wireless phones, laptops and other wireless devices with average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and upload speeds of 500-800 kbps.
“Maintaining the most reliable wireless network for Floridians is a continuous effort, and we’re proud of the large-scale investments our network teams have completed here this year,” said Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. “A strong network is the backbone which allows us to provide the latest services, as well as ensure the most reliable wireless coverage for voice calls.”
More than 12 billion voice and data transmissions and 22 billion minutes of airtime were logged on the Verizon Wireless network in Florida during 2007. Wireless data traffic increased nearly 220 percent from 2006, as advanced technologies – such as the Verizon Wireless V CAST information and entertainment services – have been introduced in growing areas of the state and have quickly become popular with consumers.
Other Florida network facts for 2007 include:
— Verizon Wireless launched V CAST Mobile TV in several Florida markets, giving residents the freedom to leave their homes and still watch their favorite TV programs while on-the-go. The service was launched in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Naples and Fort Myers. Additional Florida markets are scheduled to be added in 2008.
— Verizon Wireless installed nearly 100 new digital transmission sites in Florida during 2007.
— Five new sites along the Interstate 75 corridor in North Florida were added to enhance coverage for those traveling from the Georgia state line south to the junction at Interstate 10 in Hamilton County.
— Five new sites were installed along U.S. Highway 98 to provide expanded coverage on U.S. Highway 98 between Tallahassee and St. George Island.
— A new site was activated on the roof of the St. Pete Times Forum to upgrade coverage inside the arena and to businesses and residences in downtown Tampa. The site complements a high-tech wireless antenna system installed there in 2006.
— Verizon Wireless rolled two Cells On Light Trucks (COLTS) into position near Dolphins Stadium to boost wireless coverage for fans, game sponsors and news media during Super Bowl XLI. The most powerful and technologically advanced mobile cell sites ever deployed by Verizon Wireless in Florida, the COLTS combined with permanent sites nearby to complete nearly 90,000 connections per hour during peak network activity.
— Verizon Wireless’ network technicians (who serve as the inspiration for the famous TV Test Man ad campaign) traveled more than 150,000 miles across the state this year. The company launched a new, more powerful fleet of test vehicles equipped with phones, wireless data devices and computers to measure the quality of voice and data calls on the Verizon Wireless network, as well as other carriers’ networks. The six vehicles represent an investment of about $250,000 each and are based in Tampa, Orlando, Boca Raton and Jacksonville.
— Verizon Wireless invested $150,000 in a Disaster Response Trailer (DRT) to serve as a temporary customer service location in areas impacted by hurricanes and other crises in Florida. The 35-foot long, 300-square-foot vehicle – which was custom-built for Verizon Wireless – features four computer terminals, an air-conditioned canopy area, and demonstration areas that can be set up to serve areas of need in as little as three hours.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 63.7 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 68,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information, go to: http://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 http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia .