By PR Newswire Press Release

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ — When hundreds of thousands of college students leave classwork behind and hit Florida's famous beaches for spring break this year, they'll also be able to call, text, download and send picture messages on their wireless phones with enthusiasm.

Verizon Wireless has charged up its network at spring break destinations along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and across the state with more than $150 million worth of technology enhancements since last year's vacationing students headed back to class.

This investment has helped nearly double the network capacity for wireless data in high-demand hot spots across the Sunshine State, allowing even more simultaneous calls and connections.

At the height of the spring break frenzy, Verizon Wireless expects millions of successful connections per hour on its Florida digital network. Throughout the year, college students also are prolific users of the latest wireless technology. In Florida, six of the 10 busiest Verizon Wireless cell sites are those that serve college campuses.

“We know spring breakers are here to socialize, and students now use their wireless devices to do that in new ways, from a simple phone call to using Twitter or Facebook,” said Verizon Wireless Florida Region President Pam Tope. “These students are amazingly tech-savvy wireless consumers. We're glad our network can help them stay in touch with their families, download research for a thesis, watch a video on their phone, or even find the hottest volleyball game on the beach.”

In the weeks leading up to spring break, Verizon Wireless technicians — the inspiration for the iconic character in the company's television commercials — also have been driving special test vehicles to fine tune the network upgrades in these many key markets.

In 2008, Verizon Wireless completed rolling out its 3G Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) high-speed wireless network throughout the entire state. Verizon Wireless has now invested nearly $1.8 billion in Florida to enhance its digital network since the company was formed.

The Verizon Wireless EV-DO Rev. A network allows advanced services such as V CAST — a favorite with students and young customers — that streams video clips, plays cutting-edge 3D games and downloads full song tracks over the air. Wireless broadband also makes possible VZ Navigator(SM) — a location-based service offering maps, audible driving directions, traffic updates, gas station locations and pricing. This technology also enables customers to use their laptop computers to wirelessly access e-mail and calendars, the Internet and other information anytime, anywhere without having to search for scattered Wi-Fi locations.