Verizon Eyes Expansion

Moving to boost network capacity and coverage, Verizon Wireless has inked a
three-year agreement to buy telecom equipment from Motorola .

The country’s largest mobile carrier will install Motorola’s CDMA2000 1X
radio base stations, Internet Protocol call processing platforms and
advanced messaging systems in markets in California, Colorado, Minnesota,
North Carolina and South Carolina.

It’s the second move by Verizon Wireless to improve its voice and data
network in as many weeks. Earlier it would pay $930
million for NextWave Telecom’s New York-area spectrum license.

Motorola has supplied network equipment to Verizon Wireless since the
carrier formed in 2000. Motorola spokeswoman Kathi Haas said the company
also sold infrastructure to Verizon Wireless’ predecessors — Bell Atlantic
and AirTouch — for several years before their merger.

Today’s news comes amid growing competition for Verizon Wireless, a joint
venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone .

For example, Cingular’s acquisition of AT&T Wireless is on track to be close
in the fourth quarter, making the operator a much larger threat.

Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved
a controversial spectrum swap deal for Nextel that
Verizon Wireless and some consumer advocates vehemently opposed.

Some members of Congress also want the agreement reviewed by the General
Accounting Office (GAO) to see if Nextel was paying enough for the valuable
swath of airwaves.

“Obviously we’re interested in what happens with the GAO,” Jeffrey Nelson, a
Verizon spokesman, told “Beyond that, we’re going
to wait to see what the FCC’s order says before we assess what our options
are going forward.”

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

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