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Flag Telecom


reached an agreement to collaborate in the development and use of



city-to-city European backbone network.

The fiber-optic network is set to start serving London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Brussels in the early part of the second half of the year, with other European cities set to follow during the remainder of the year. Verizon will own, operate and manage the network and Flag will provide and manage its own IP layer and collocation space for its customers.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. As part of the deal, Verizon will acquire certain European Flag facilities.

Also on Thursday, Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon and

Vodafone Group


, said its total customer count grew to 28 million in the first quarter, a 14% increase from a year ago. The company said it added more than 518,000 net new customers in the quarter.