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Juniper lands router deal with Verizon

The telecommunications giant agrees to buy Juniper routers so that it can add more services, such as virtual private networks and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Verizon Communications plans to use Juniper Networks routers to battle for a bigger share of the corporate telephone, Wi-Fi and broadband market.

Under terms of a multiyear deal announced by the two companies on Wednesday, Juniper will sell Verizon its E-series routers.

The routers will help complete a "pretty substantial network build-out designed to meet the needs of Fortune 1000 customers," Verizon spokesman Mark Marchand said.

Sources said many of the nation's biggest telephone equipment providers, including Cisco Systems, had been competing for such an agreement with Verizon. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The Juniper and Verizon deal is another sign of how carriers, battered by the ongoing slowdown in high-tech spending, are looking at products to serve big businesses, helping them weather the storm. Just as Verizon is doing, most other U.S. telephone companies are creating new offers for big businesses, such as VPN (virtual private network) services and videoconferencing.

"Carriers want to become more than just a connection," Juniper Networks spokeswoman Susan Ursch said.

With Juniper routers in place, Verizon could create more Wi-Fi hot spots, launch a video-on-demand service or offer improved Ethernet connections, which have become a popular way for businesses to communicate internally, Ursch said.