Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) today announced a three-year, $5 billion contract which positions Lucent to become the largest supplier of Verizon Wireless' third-generation (3G) high-speed mobile network infrastructure.
Verizon Wireless will begin to deploy its first phase of 3G technology, known as cdma2000* 3G1XRTT, in its premier, coast-to-coast network later this year. This 3G introduction will be the first commercial system in the United States.
With Lucent's products, services and software, Verizon Wireless will rapidly introduce high-speed mobile Internet services without substantial additional investment in new base stations.
This upgrade will potentially double the existing network's voice capacity and increase data-transmission speeds by nearly ten times. Verizon Wireless also will deploy cdma2000 1XEV-DO, a technology compatible with existing and new base stations which enables data-only services to customers requiring even higher Internet access speeds for needs such as transmitting graphic-intensive files or streaming video downloads.
Third-generation networks require high-speed data-networking systems to support mobile Internet sessions at ever-increasing rates. When deployed, it will make it possible for Verizon customers to tap into the ever-growing portfolio of new applications requiring very high-speed data transmission. Some of these applications, operating over Verizon Wireless' spectrum, are being shown in both live drive demonstrations as well as in Lucent's booth (No. 3432) at the CTIA Wireless 2001 show (Sands Expo, March 20-22).
"This agreement reaffirms a long-standing relationship with Lucent and together we are laying the groundwork to rapidly roll out 3G products and services for our customers later this year," said Richard Lynch, executive vice president and chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. "Our customers demand both high quality voice and data services and we view the move to 3G services as a significant step toward delivering on that demand."
"Deployment of 3G technology adds the convenience of mobility and personalization to the benefits of the high-speed Internet experience," said Jim Brewington, president, wireless networks group for Lucent Technologies. "This is an exciting undertaking, one that will make mobile communications much more convenient with many more options for Verizon Wireless customers. New features and services will give Verizon Wireless a competitive edge in attracting new customers and providing more benefits to its current subscribers."
Messrs. Lynch and Brewington will available to meet with the media at a 12:30 p.m. briefing Tuesday, March 20 in Room 206, Sands Expo, in Las Vegas.
The cdma2000 technologies being used by Verizon Wireless to enhance and expand its national network services comply with the international 3G standards established by International Telecommunications Union (ITU). A key advantage of these technologies is the forward and backward compatibility to Verizon Wireless' existing cdmaOne network.
Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will purchase multiple products and systems from Lucent's comprehensive portfolio, including Bell Labs-developed software that is designed to expand wireless coverage, increase capacity, and support high-speed data and mobile Internet applications. The deployment will include products from Lucent's 3G-ready Flexent(r) family of mobile switching centers and base stations, cost-saving Softswitch-based access and transport systems for Internet Protocol (IP) and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network applications. Verizon Wireless is also expected to deploy a variety of Lucent's mobile Internet enhanced services.