Verizon Wireless Network Invests Millions To Serve Gulf Coast Customers During 2015 Atlantic Storm Season

 NEW ORLEANS – As Hurricane Season approaches, Verizon Wireless wants its customers to know that it is always working to provide a predictable network through a season of unpredictable weather.

         The Weather Channel Professional Division predicts the 2015 Hurricane Season will bring a total of nine named storms, three storms at category three or higher. In 2014, Verizon Wireless invested more than $180.6 million across the Gulf Coast from Lake Charles, LA., to the Florida Panhandle to prepare the nation’s largest 4G LTE network for severe weather. Investments such as 4G LTE enhancements, new cell sites and network facilities bolstered Verizon’s ability to recover quickly during disasters and crisis situations.

         “We are committed to providing our customers access to the most reliable network, especially in the event of severe weather,” said Krista Bourne, president of the Houston/Gulf Coast region for Verizon Wireless. “As more customers use their devices in times of emergency to communicate with their loved ones, we will continue working tirelessly to strengthen and prepare our network to withstand any situation so that you and your loved ones stay safe, informed and never lose connection. When faced with an emergency, we are confident our customers can rely on Verizon’s connectivity.”

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         Verizon Wireless reps say they continually invest in preparations for severe weather, keeping network reliability at the forefront. Network enhancements since last year’s storm season maintain a fleet of cells on wheels (COWs), cells on light trucks (COLTs) and generators on trailers (GOATs) for immediate deployment to provide extra network support in hard-hit locations and areas that need additional network capacity.

         Verizon Wireless designed “super-switch” network processing centers across the Gulf Coast to withstand winds and weather of Category 5 hurricanes. Each center features low, wide dimensions, hardened shells and double-reinforced exterior walls that are effective against strong winds and blowing debris. These facilities also feature large-scale, on-site power generation, storage and back-up systems to ensure the company’s network remains strong in the event of an emergency.

         Verizon expanded its XLTE technology throughout the Gulf Coast region to boost 4G LTE network capacity and strengthen download and upload speeds in high-traffic areas during critical situations.

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         Additional year-round efforts to ensure a reliable network ahead of the storm season include:

 

• XLTE service that utilizes AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum, allowing Verizon to deliver significantly increased capacity – at a minimum doubling the capacity – over its high-speed 4G LTE network

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• Driving 15,333 baseline miles across the Gulf Coast to ensure reliable coverage for all its customers by thoroughly testing network reception and quality

• Deploying 150 new cell sites across the Gulf Coast to strengthen coverage and capacity of the Verizon Wireless network

• Maintaining a comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across the Gulf Coast in the case of a storm or other crisis.

 

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