Nortel Networks has signed a five-year contract worth $2 billion with Verizon Wireless to continue to upgrade and expand Verizon’s network.

Verizon is improving its coverage to support more broadband services, such as its V Cast video and music services.

Data services produced nearly 14 percent of Verizon Wireless’ revenues in the third quarter of 2006. It has nearly 57 million customers.

"The popularity of Internet services like user-generated videos, online gaming, music and video is driving an explosion in bandwidth demand," said Richard Lowe, president of Mobility and Converged Core Networks at Nortel. "Consumers expect more from their mobile devices than voice communication and text-messaging. Nortel is making it simple for Verizon Wireless to expand its network to meet this demand and to competitively drive new services to market that their customers will enjoy."

Verizon Wireless utilizes radio base stations, switching, Internet Protocol platforms, optical networking solutions and other gear as well as professional services from Nortel. Nortel is providing code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology that enables evolution data only, or EV-DO, for high-speed wireless connections.

Nortel employs more than 2,000 people at its complex in Research Triangle Park, N.C.