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Nextel to assist U.S. Navy

Nextel Communications to supply U.S.-based U.S. Navy personnel with cell phones, voice minutes and wireless data plans.

Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless and Nextel Communications were each awarded $20 million contracts Monday to outfit U.S. Navy personnel stationed domestically with cell phones, voice minutes and wireless data plans for the next 12 months. Such wins are important for the three wireless operators as they saturate more general consumer markets with their phones and airtime.

Organizations at the federal, state and local government level agencies now account for about 2.1 million of Nextel's 14 million overall subscribers, due in part to Nextel's walkie-talkie-style services known as push-to-talk, the operator said in prepared remarks.