Comverse Technology (Nasdaq:CMVT) has beat arch-rival Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU) to a major deal with Verizon Wireless.

Rumors of the deal, in which the Israeli firm will be providing voicemail solutions for an estimated $200 million, have been swirling since August.

Comverse is expected to report revenue of $1.1 billion for 2002.

Verizon has a clientele base of 28.7 million subscribers in key markets across the United States.

Comverse's voicemail solutions, which are made by its Comverse Network Systems unit, generate 70% of the parent company's revenues.

Verizon Wireless was founded as a joint venture by Verizon (Nasdaq:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:VOD).

"Voicemail continues to be a key application for wireless subscribers," stated Ted L. Hoffman, Vice President of Technology Development at Verizon Wireless.

"Comverse is extremely pleased to have been selected by Verizon Wireless for our voicemail solution", stated Zeev Bregman, Chief Executive Officer of Comverse.