Nextel continues commitment to Florida with increased capacity and enhanced coverage

February 22, 2005

4 Min Read

MAITLAND, Fla. -- Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL) continues its long-standing commitment to Florida, committing a combined $384 million in 2004 and 2005 to significantly increase the capacity and enhance coverage of its digital network in Florida.

While the Nextel and Nextel Partners, Inc. network has made service available to 99 percent of the Florida population for years, the enhancements in Florida are part of a continuing national commitment to supply Nextel customers with the finest wireless network in the business. Nextel made software upgrades in 2004 to nearly double Florida's network capacity. In addition, the company plans to build 500 new Florida cell sites in 2005, which equates to almost 20 percent of the total sites the company built nationwide in 2004.


-- Nextel and Nextel Partners coverage area increased to more than 40,000 square miles by the end of 2004.

-- Nextel has made service available to 99 percent of the state's population for several years.

-- Nextel processed 36 percent more walkie-talkie and cellular calls in Florida in 2004 when compared to 2003.

-- Nextel processed more than 14 billion Florida walkie-talkie calls during 2004.

-- Nextel processed more than 6 billion Florida cellular calls during 2004.

-- Nextel implemented software upgrades in 2004 that are designed to nearly double its network capacity in Florida. Nextel will realize these benefits as the current line of handsets that use this new software is introduced into the customer base, through both the addition of new subscribers and existing subscribers upgrading their Nextel phones.

-- Nextel expects to add 500 new cell sites in Florida by the end of 2005.

-- Nextel is adding permanent backup generators to 600 sites by the end of the second quarter 2005. In addition, 350 portable generators are standing by in Florida for use in the event of a power loss.

-- During 2004, Nextel added more than 6,000 base radios - equipment to increase network capacity at a given cell site. Nextel plans to add another 12,000 base radios during 2005.

-- Nextel has dedicated engineers who drive test the network daily looking for opportunities to improve the quality of service. Nextel also has independent consulting companies who drive across Florida to test the network and provide an unbiased assessment of how it performs in comparison to other wireless providers.

"Our mission is to provide an unmatched wireless service to government, businesses and individual customers throughout Florida," said Tom Gawronski, Nextel South region vice president. "Our continued investment in the Florida network demonstrates our commitment to exceed our customers' expectations in coverage, capacity and reliability."

These network improvements will improve the Florida customer's experience with the finest quality wireless service offered with Nextel Direct Connect(R) service, the instant, nationwide digital walkie-talkie service, International Direct Connect(SM) and wireless data services, including text messaging, mobile email and Wireless Web, along with traditional digital cellular service.


Throughout the 2004 hurricanes, Nextel donated wireless phones and service to more than 7,000 emergency responders throughout the area as well as to the American Red Cross. Nextel also set up command centers in several Florida cities to provide the community with food, ice, water, cell phone battery replacement, and service and repair assistance.

Nextel also provisioned more than 90,000 customers with Nextel Priority Connect(SM). In times of emergencies, if the wireless network is congested, Priority Connect status puts first responders at the front of the line when making a walkie-talkie call. The service intelligently applies levels of priority, based on classifications set by federal guidelines, ranging from federal and state executives to disaster recovery personnel.

"The need to build a strong, reliable network in Florida was never more apparent than during the 2004 hurricane season, when the state was hit by an unprecedented four storms within six weeks," Gawronski said. "With our existing robust network, bolstered by the significant investments we are making in 2005, we will be better prepared for any new challenges that may arise in the future."

Nextel Communications Inc.

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