Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Qwest Dumps Sprint

We're always looking for good news to share about Sprint, but there is so little. This time, Sprint gets kicked in the teeth by Qwest. Qwest Wireless sold and supported their own phones, but they operated on Sprint's network as an MVNO. Qwest has signed an agreement with Verizon Wireless to sell Verizon phones as part of Qwest's "bundles", but they will be Verizon-branded phones. So this means the death of Qwest Wireless as well. This deal is similar to that with Qwest and Dish Network.

Qwest's official position is that Sprint wouldn't let Qwest have the latest gee-whiz phones, at least for 4 months after Sprint gets them. Verizon will...of course they will...since they are Verizon phones. One of the few advantages I can see is Verizon Wireless users (who sign up through Qwest) will be able to combine their home and wireless voice mail, which was already available to Qwest wireless and landline customers.

We think this is an unfortunate decision because it means more trouble for Sprint, a good network with a bad reputation, and the end of one more name in the wireless world, Qwest Wireless. This will mean a few more layoffs at Qwest, but overall it must mean more for Qwest's bottom line. Fortunately, current Qwest Wireless customers won't need to make any changes until next year. But we can start moaning now.

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