12/28/2005 AUSTIN, TX ? Verizon Wireless announced today it has completed more than $290 million in enhancements to its Texas voice and data wireless network this year. The investment includes adding and updating cell sites and other technology to improve call quality, increase coverage areas, and allow a variety of advanced services such as wireless broadband computing, TXT and Video Messaging, and other applications.
Verizon Wireless has expanded the BroadbandAccess EV-DO high-speed wireless broadband network in Texas significantly, upgrading more than 460 cell sites in the state's major metropolitan areas including Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Beaumont.
The network investment is key to maintaining strong coverage during hurricanes and other emergencies and continuing Verizon Wireless? leadership in network reliability and customer service.
Texas network upgrade facts for 2005 include:
- Verizon Wireless launched the BroadbandAccess EV-DO high-speed wireless network in San Antonio and Beaumont, as well as upgraded hundreds of existing sites across Texas including one in the Texas State Capitol building. The Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess data network is the largest high-speed wireless broadband network in the nation and the first of its kind in Texas. The technology allows high-speed downloads of video, games and music on the Verizon Wireless V CAST service, plus pictures, text and other data onto devices such as phones, laptops and PDAs.
- More than 130 new cell sites were completed, including more than 50 to increase coverage in the Houston, Beaumont and surrounding Gulf Coast areas, as well as a new cell site at Dallas? Fair Park and a low-impact site constructed as a church steeple in Bedford.
- More than 500 existing sites were fully upgraded with state-of-the art components to handle the latest digital wireless technologies, including high-speed wireless broadband services.
In addition to improving new services and everyday wireless calling coverage, the Verizon Wireless network investment is designed to enhance communities? public safety capabilities, a need made clear in the Gulf Coast region during the extraordinary hurricane season this year.
Public safety- and network-related statistics include:
- Verizon Wireless has invested more than $1 billion in its Gulf Coast wireless network in the past six years, including more than $180 million on the Gulf Coast network in 2004 and an estimated $220 million in 2005.
- The company responded to immediate needs of areas impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by setting up Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs), Cells on Wheels (COWS) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS) to provide additional capacity and services to residents, evacuees and rescue agencies at emergency shelters throughout the state.
- During the height of the 2005 hurricane season, Verizon Wireless technicians and relief crews in Texas logged hundreds of thousands of man-hours in preparation, response and recovery efforts.
- Thousands of phones and millions of minutes of airtime were provided free to emergency workers and the public as landline services and other wireless carriers lost coverage during the storms. Verizon Wireless Communications Stores also provided free phone charging and repair services to anyone impacted by the storms.