Ridgeland, Miss., (May 31, 2012) – C Spire Wireless, the only U.S. provider that offers personalized services, enters the 2012 hurricane season with two multi-million dollar, hurricane-ready “super switches” providing added protection and service for customers in south Mississippi, along the Gulf Coast and in south Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Both high-tech mobile phone switching facilities, which are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 miles an hour, connect millons of voice calls, wireless data transmissions and other critical customer services daily for C Spire consumer and business customers. In addition to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel and concrete structures house a large-scale 500 kilowatt diesel power generator, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and technologies. The latest forecast for the 2012 hurricane season predicts as many as 15 named tropical storms and up to 11 hurricanes will form in the Atlantic Ocean during the six-month season that officially begins on June 1. “These super switch facilities will help ensure that essential voice and data communications continue for our customers even when we experience severe weather and other life-threatening situations,” said Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire Wireless. Both the 4,800 square foot, $2.1 million center in Mobile, Alabama and the 2,600 square foot, $6 million facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi feature large switching bays, reinforced interior walls, concrete block and reinforced steel structures for added strength and a double steel reinforced roof grid that protects against debris strikes from roof tile, road signs and tree limbs that might be airborne during a hurricane or severe storm. Each facility is designed to operate even after the loss of commercial power. “Our battery bays work in concert with commercial power to keep the facility up and running in the event of a hurricane or other severe weather. If we lose commercial power, this set of batteries will power the switch until our diesel-powered generators sense the power failure, automatically activate and come online,” Hollingsworth said. “Our customers depend on their mobile phones and a reliable network to communicate with family members, friends and employers before, during and after a severe weather event,” he added. “These high levels of built-in redundancy provide increased wireless voice and data security, especially during hurricane season and other times of severe weather.” Network reliability proved critical in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, killing 1,500 people and causing $80 billion in damage. With most other carriers' wireless networks destroyed or seriously damaged by the onslaught of Katrina, C Spire played a vital communications role in the days following the storm, carrying over 2.6 million calls daily in hurricane-impacted areas only a few days after the storm hit and logging a 470 percent increase in the number of minutes used by customers of other wireless carriers on its network. "For many of our customers and others as well, C Spire was the first and only means of communications available during and after Hurricane Katrina," Hollingsworth said. "We want our customers to know that we stand ready to respond to whatever circumstances come their way." The company intends to continue to aggressively invest in its wireless network to increase coverage, capacity and reliability, Hollingsworth said. “In addition to our best-in-class nationwide voice and data offerings and leading line up of smartphones, tablets and connected devices, C Spire continues to find new, innovative and personalized ways to ensure that our network is there when customers need us most.” For more information on C Spire’s personalized network, visit Our Network | C Spire Wireless.