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Alltel Wireless, with America’s largest network, provides support for Texas customers as Hurricane Ike approaches


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Alltel Wireless, with America’s largest network behind it, is continuing to provide digital service to customers in Texas as Hurricane Ike approaches. The company has network crews in place throughout the region ready to respond to any weather-related emergencies and to make any necessary repairs as quickly as possible after the hurricane makes landfall.
“Alltel takes very seriously our responsibility to ensure our customers stay connected to friends and family during Hurricane Ike,” said Chris Smith, executive vice president of network services for Alltel. “Alltel has made significant investments in its wireless network to improve coverage and reliability, and we have once again taken all the necessary steps to prepare for Ike.”

Meanwhile, Alltel announced that it has made a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross to assist hurricane recovery efforts.
Alltel also is encouraging all of its customers and employees to send $5 donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by sending a text message from their mobile phones. A customer simply types the keyword GIVE to 2HELP (24357). A confirmation message will arrive within a few minutes, and the customer then replies YES to confirm his or her donation. Standard text messaging rates will apply.
Text donations can be made through Oct. 31, 2008. All donations are tax deductible and will appear on customers’ monthly bills.

Alltel will continue to monitor Hurricane Ike through its command center operations so that it can respond quickly and effectively with manpower, generators and equipment to keep customers in communication with friends and family during and after the storm. Ike is expected to make landfall in Texas this weekend.

Alltel retail stores in the area will remain open as long as possible. Stores that are forced to close will reopen as soon as conditions permit to allow customers access to phone chargers and batteries. Alltel opens mobile retail stores in particularly hard-hit areas.

In preparation for Ike, Alltel has:

* Secured agreements with vendors to provide fuel to keep trucks and generators running.
* Placed generators on standby in hurricane-prone areas, and tested on-site backup generators for readiness in case of a power outage.

Prepared to provide lodging, RVs, food and water for technicians working in storm-hit areas.

Customers can prepare for Ike by:

* Verifying that wireless phones are working properly.
* Programming wireless phones with emergency contact numbers.
* Making sure wireless phone batteries remain fully charged.
* Keeping additional charged batteries on hand along with car chargers. Phones, batteries and chargers should be kept in dry, easily accessible areas.
* In addition, once Ike makes landfall, Alltel encourages customers to consider:
* Using Text Messaging instead of trying to place a call.
* Limiting non-emergency calls, whenever possible.
* Waiting 10-15 seconds before dialing again if a call fails to go through.
* Using their camera phones to record damage for insurance purposes.


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