A Test Vehicle Called Ike
Ike is no ordinary member of the Verizon Wireless fleet of 100 company-owned and -operated vehicles that travel the United States every day testing the nation’s most reliable wireless network. Based at the company’s Network Operations Center outside Dallas, Ike, a four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle, works behind the scenes to help Verizon Wireless plan future testing; fills in when other test vehicles are sidelined; and provides additional network testing support following disasters, emergencies and special events.
Ike was the first Verizon Wireless test vehicle to drive the more than 40,000 miles of the U.S. Interstate Highway System in the lower 48 states and was named in honor of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed America’s national highway system. The results of Ike’s full interstate highway drive in 2005 became part of the baseline the company uses to measure its network’s performance.
Ike continues to play a key role within Verizon Wireless today. Ike will be the first member of the fleet equipped to test the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, which will launch later this year. Ike’s preliminary testing will enable Verizon Wireless to identify testing processes and procedures that the company’s real-life test men and women will use to monitor and test the company’s 4G LTE network, as well as competitors’ 3G and 4G data networks.
Ike, like every other member of the test fleet, is driven by a Verizon Wireless system performance engineer to provide a baseline for comparison of current and future wireless voice and data network performance in markets. The vehicles also are called upon to assist Verizon Wireless’ network testing efforts following hurricanes and other emergencies. This testing – in concert with other network monitoring systems – enables Verizon Wireless to quickly identify any effects of wind, rain, ice, snow, floods or fire on its network so that wireless service can be maintained and enhanced in those areas where customers need their service most.
Members of the news media who want to learn more about Ike or schedule an interview or ride-along test drive with a Verizon Wireless test man or woman in the lower 48 states or Hawaii can contact Tom Pica at 908-559-7516.