Verizon Wireless Network Prepared to Serve Florida Customers as Hurricane Irene Approaches U.S.
TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — As Hurricane Irene continues its path toward the Southeastern Coast of the United States, Verizon Wireless is well-prepared to serve customers in Florida and across the region with the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G coverage and services.
Final fine-tuning measures are underway in Florida, and local network teams also are prepared to travel up the East Coast to assist other regions hit hardest by the storm. The efforts are part of a year-round plan to make the network strong and reliable during storms and any other circumstances.
Network enhancements in Florida since last year’s storm season include launching the most advanced 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) services in numerous markets across the state; adding capacity to more than 700 high-speed 3G cell sites in Florida; installing new in-building network systems at hospitals, government and emergency facilities, high-traffic public venues and other key locations; and integrating former Alltel cell sites and technical facilities into the Verizon Wireless network.
In addition, the company 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.
“It looks like Florida will dodge a direct hit from Irene, but the storm is a reminder to residents that wireless communication can be critical during emergencies,” said Pam Tope, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless. “We work hard all year-round to ensure the strongest network and provide the most advanced, reliable service to our customers when they need it most.”
Other Verizon Wireless ongoing efforts to ensure a reliable network include:
- A comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across Florida in the case of a storm or other crisis.
- Network technicians 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.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail 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.
SOURCE Verizon Wireless