Verizon Wireless will beef up its network capacity during Thunder Over Louisville and the Kentucky Derby by activating two temporary cell sites so that more customers can use their wireless handsets concurrently to make calls, send and receive text and picture messages, and download games and ringtones.
The temporary cell sites are fully functional, generator-powered mobile cell sites that enhance wireless capacity in a given area. Verizon Wireless will place a COLT (Cell on Light Truck) along the Ohio River for the Derby Festival's Thunder Over Louisville daylong event, and a COW (Cell on Wheels) near Wizard Street and Longfield Avenue outside Churchill Downs for the Derby itself.
Since last year's festivities, Verizon Wireless has made significant permanent upgrades to its network that will further improve its customers' wireless experience during this year's events. In late 2005, the company activated a new cell site at Churchill Downs, which increases network coverage and capacity in the vicinity. Additionally, in August 2005, Verizon Wireless launched its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation wide-area network in Louisville, the city's first operational high-speed data network. EV-DO enables two new services for Verizon Wireless customers:
*BroadbandAccess, the largest high-speed wireless broadband network in the United States, with average user speeds of 400-700 kilobits per second (kbps);
*V CAST, the nation's first wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers that brings high quality video, games, music and more to handsets.
"During Derby time, Kentuckians and visitors rely heavily on their wireless handsets to keep in touch with friends and family -- not only with phone calls, but also through text, picture and video messaging," said Greg Haller, president-Kentucky/Indiana/Michigan Region, Verizon Wireless. "Our network is prepared to handle the expected increased activity over the next few weeks."
These network improvements are part of Verizon Wireless' continuous effort to increase capacity and augment the quality of its wireless voice and data network in Kentucky and across the country. Verizon Wireless has invested $30 billion in the last six years -- $5 billion on average every year since the company was formed -- to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. The company has invested nearly $115 million over the past four years in its Kentucky network.