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Nortel Networks

(NT)

signed a $1 billion multiyear contract to provide wireless infrastructure technology to Verizon Wireless.

The contract includes an equipment upgrade and expansion of Verizon Wireless' nationwide, third-generation voice and data network.

Nortel's shares jumped 24 cents, or 7.5%, to $3.46 on the news.

Verizon Wireless plans to deploy expansion and upgrade CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, switching, Passport Internet Protocol platforms and other equipment from Nortel in several markets, including San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The agreement also includes a new market build-out in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Additionally, Nortel will support Verizon Wireless' plans to offer Wi-Fi (802.11b) service. Nortel has been providing wireless equipment to Verizon Wireless and its predecessor companies since 1996.

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.