MURRAY HILL, N.J. — Verizon Wireless and Lucent Technologies today announced a letter of intent planned to be worth up to $1.5 billion which names Lucent as a primary supplier of network infrastructure to the newly-formed wireless venture. The expected deal will allow the largest U.S. wireless carrier to increase its coverage and capacity in key markets and to offer third generation (3G) high-speed mobile Internet access, other enhanced data and voice services to business and residential customers.
The parties expect to enter into a purchase agreement, which will develop the existing relationships between Lucent and Verizon Wireless, a wireless service provider recently formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and Vodafone AirTouch plc. The agreement would set the stage for continued close collaboration begun with Bell Atlantic Mobile on commercializing next-generation (3G) Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology for introduction into the national Verizon Wireless network.
In late April, Lucent and QUALCOMM Inc. reported the first live laboratory demonstration of 3G data transmission technology, which is planned for an initial field trial in Verizon Wireless' Philadelphia area network. The 3G technology, called CDMA2000-1X, supports peak data transmission rates of 153 kilobits per second, more than ten-fold faster than what is available today. Network upgrades involve only circuit card replacements and a software modification. When deployed in the Verizon Wireless network, CDMA2000-1X will have the additional benefit of effectively doubling voice capacity without the need for new base stations.
"Lucent Technologies has been at our side as we pioneered reliable and cost- effective CDMA service in both our cellular and PCS networks, " said Richard Lynch, executive vice president and chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. "Now that we are serving 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets, we expect to leverage our combined resources to build the nation's best 3G voice and data network."
"We've enjoyed a long-standing collaboration with Verizon Wireless' founding partners and GTE, and we now anticipate extending this relationship to the joint venture, a premier national wireless carrier," said Nina Aversano, president, North America, Service Provider Network group, Lucent Technologies. "Verizon Wireless' national footprint is helping them gain greater economies of scale and we are gratified that they expect to continue to rely on Lucent to help them deliver mobile Internet access, voice and other data services to their customers. "
The letter of intent covers Lucent's broad range of products and systems designed to expand wireless coverage, increase capacity, and to support high-speed data and mobile Internet applications, including multimedia communications from mobile devices. They include the full line of 3G-ready Flexent TM mobile switching centers and CDMA base stations, cost-saving access and transport systems based on asynchronous transfer mode and Internet protocol (IP) solutions.
Verizon Wireless is also expected to deploy a variety of Lucent's mobile Internet enhanced services, including intelligent network and unified messaging solutions, and is expected to be the first nationwide wireless carrier to offer Lucent's two-way Short Message Service Center (SMSC) service, jointly developed with TeleCommunication Systems of Annapolis, Md.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with over 18 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly four million pager customers. The new, coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the US wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and Vodafone AirTouch Plc. The new company includes the assets from Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the US wireless assets of GTE Corp. when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the US population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 US markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, N.J., is 30,000 employees strong. Visit the company at www.verizonwireless.com
About Lucent Technologies
Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, designs and delivers the systems, software, silicon and services for next-generation communications networks for service providers and enterprises. Backed by the research and development of Bell Labs, Lucent focuses on high-growth areas such as optical and wireless networks; Internet infrastructure; communications software; communications semiconductors and optoelectronics; Web-based enterprise solutions that link private and public networks; and professional network design and consulting services. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit its Web site at www.lucent.com.