Since its creation in 2000, Verizon Wireless has employed real-life test men and women to monitor and test the company’s network by driving its fleet of vehicles. Ten years later, that fleet has more than tripled in size with Verizon Wireless now operating 100 specially equipped, company-owned and -operated test vehicles, the largest wireless network testing fleet in the United States, according to Verizon.
Verizon Wireless recently added 10 new vehicles to its network testing fleet to bring its total complement to 100 test vehicles. The vehicles – late-model, four-wheel drive utility vehicles, each costing approximately $240,000 when fully outfitted with network testing gear – enable the company to enhance its call quality and coverage capabilities and test new markets, including Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
This year, Verizon Wireless plans to launch its 4G long term evolution (LTE) wireless network – which will offer higher wireless speeds than today’s most advanced 3G network – in 25 to 30 markets nationally. When it does, Verizon Wireless’ test men and women will monitor the 4G network as they do the current voice and data network. The first member of the Verizon Wireless test vehicle fleet to be equipped with 4G testing equipment will be the test vehicle named “Ike.” Ike will be testing the prototype 4G testing and monitoring equipment to be installed in the Verizon Wireless test fleet later this year.