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Nortel wins Verizon Wireless upgrade

Nortel will supply Verizon Wireless with gear to upgrade its 3G network to faster speeds.

A day after it announced an alliance with Microsoft, Nortel Networks scored a big win with mobile operator Verizon Wireless to expand its next-generation wireless data network.

Nortel said on Wednesday that it will supply Verizon Wireless with equipment that will increase the speed and capacity of Verizon's 3G mobile network. Specifically, Verizon will use products based on CDMA 1xEV-DO Revision A technology beginning in the third quarter of 2006.

This new technology provides data speeds significantly faster than current capabilities, about 3.1 megabits per second for downloads and 1.8Mbps for uploads. Current 3G networks on average provide speeds between 400 Kilobits per second and 700Kbps. Higher data speeds are needed for new bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive applications, such as video and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for mobile devices.

Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Nortel has been supplying equipment to Verizon's nationwide wireless network for more than a decade. Verizon is currently testing applications on Nortel's EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) Revision A technology, including push-to-talk, fixed mobile convergence, VoIP and messaging services.

"Nortel's solution allows Verizon Wireless to introduce new, real-time services such as video and other streaming media that rely on quality-of-services capabilities," Doug Wolff, vice president and general manager for CDMA solutions at Nortel, said in a statement. "These new services provide a very powerful end-user experience that increases customer loyalty."

The agreement with Verizon follows on the heels of another major announcement this week by Nortel. On Tuesday, the networking company and Microsoft announced a strategic alliance to develop, market and sell IP communications products to large companies.