Nortel wins US$1billion Verizon Wireless pact

US carrier Verizon Wireless Inc. has awarded Nortel Networks Corp. a US$1 billion multiyear contract to supply equipment for upgrading and expanding Verizon's nationwide network.

Verizon Wireless plans to deploy CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, switching, Passport IP platforms, and other related equipment from Nortel in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta and Cleveland. The agreement also includes a new market build-out and deployment of CDMA2000 1X technology in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The upgrades are designed to provide additional network capacity for digital voice and high-speed data services like Web browsing, streaming audio and video, multimedia messaging, m-commerce and VPNs.

This contract is new business on top of an existing purchase/supply arrangement between Verizon Wireless and Nortel. Nortel has been providing wireless equipment to Verizon Wireless and its predecessor companies since 1996.

Earlier this year, Nortel provided Verizon Wireless with CDMA2000 1X infrastructure in Georgia and Alabama, and with CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology in San Diego. Verizon Wireless plans to make CDMA2000 1xEV-DO service commercially available in San Diego later this year.

Nortel says its is supplying CDMA infrastructure to 60 operators in 15 countries. It is the No. 2 supplier of CDMA equipment to wireless operators behind Lucent, according to Dell'Oro Group.

Verizon Wireless has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network with 34.6 million customers.

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