Verizon Wireless has announced a three-year deal with Alcatel-Lucent for ongoing network expansion valued at US$6 billion.
Alcatel-Lucent will provide a wide variety of network equipment, software and services, according to a statement from both companies. Alcatel-Lucent had already been the primary network infrastructure provider for Verizon Wireless, but the new deal expands that relationship.
The equipment will help Verizon Wireless increase coverage and capacity for its data network based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A technology, as well as introduce new services such as voice-over-IP, push-to-talk and related technologies, mobile video telephony and more.
"With strong support from Alcatel-Lucent, we at Verizon Wireless provide our customers with the highest-quality and most advanced mobile network in the US," says Dick Lynch, chief technology officer of Verizon Wireless. "The $6 billion investment we're announcing today is indicative of our willingness to further separate us from our competitors in the marketplace."
Independent analyst Jeff Kagan says the deal is "very good news" because it is the first big deal from the newly merged Alcatel-Lucent. "The last several years have been very lean for equipment companies, but I think these kind of big deals will start up again now that many big mergers are done."
Kagan says Verizon Wireless has continually upped the ante with new services but added that the company must continue to "wow the marketplace" with services on wireless devices that go beyond voice, such as watching TV, movies, taking pictures, management calendars and sending text messages.
"The wireless phone is increasingly turning into the third screen in our lives" behind the TV and desktop, he says.