Lucent, Verizon Ink Supply Pact - TheStreet

Lucent Technologies


announced Thursday that it struck a deal with

Verizon Wireless

to supply close to $1.5 billion worth of telecom equipment to the country's largest wireless operator.

According to the statement, the deal will allow Verizon to increase its coverage and capacity in key markets and to offer third-generation high-speed mobile Internet and other enhanced data and voice services to business and residential customers. Verizon Wireless was formed last year in a joint venture between New York-based

Bell Atlantic


and Britain's

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report


Verizon Wireless has 18 million wireless customers and will get about 4 million more once Bell Atlantic and


(GTE) - Get Report

, of Irving, Texas, gain final regulatory approval for their merger, which is expected

soon. Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent is the world's largest supplier of telecommunications equipment.

Lucent closed Wednesday at 56 3/8, down 2 15/16. By comparison, its 52-week high is 84 3/16. (Lucent finished Thursday up 3 1/4, or 6%, at 59 7/8.)