updated 04:20 pm EST, Mon February 25, 2008
Qwest Wireless Deals
Currently limited to offering only rebranded Sprint service, Qwest today said it was mulling the possibility of a new wireless deal that would increase the company's stake in the buusiness for cellphones and wireless data. While short on details, company chief Ed Mueller explained that there was a "hole" in the company's strategy that needed to be filled but also said that Internet and video services also needed a boost.
Reports have suggested that the company is most likely looking for either greater independence from Sprint or else a plan to switch to another carrier, although no immediate candidates have been offered. A deal with Verizon would ensure compatibility between the network and Qwest's existing phones but would limit the company to the relatively small market for CDMA phones, which is outnumbered in the US by offerings from GSM-based providers AT&T and T-Mobile.
Regardless of direction, a move is said to be necessary for the company, which has almost entirely relied on its landline phone and DSL Internet services for its business. Any potential change by Qwest is likely to change the competitive landscape for the American cellular business by sapping Sprint's influence in the market and handing it to a larger carrier.