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Verizon Wireless And Lucent Agree To $5 Billion Infrastructure Deal

Verizon Wireless renewed its commitment to Lucent Technologies on Tuesday with a $5 billion contract for wireless networking equipment that will enable it to expand its high-speed 1xEV-DO wireless data network.

The agreement maintains the struggling Lucent as Verizon Wireless' primary supplier of wireless network infrastructure equipment. The equipment also will enable Verizon to expand to technologies beyond 1xEV-DO, the companies said in a statement.

The carrier has started deploying its 1xEV-DO network nationwide. The network, which previously was available only in Washington D.C. and San Diego, provides wireless data speeds of 384 Kbps.

"Going forward, we're going to count on Lucent as we roll out high-speed mobile data services nationwide and continuously improve the quality and reliability of our network," Dick Lynch, Verizon Wireless' chief technology officer, said in a statement.

The new agreement includes a previously-announced $525 million contract between the companies but replaces an older contract, signed in March, 2001.