CenturyLink aquires Qwest for $10.5 billion
Telecom giant CenturyLink has purchased Qwest, the two companies announced on Thursday. The tax-free, stock-for-stock deal is worth nearly $10.5 billion, but burdens CenturyLink with Qwest's $11.8 billion in debt. The new company will have 17 million lines and about 6.2 million Internet, video and wireless subscribers.
Qwest to quit wireless
Qwest announced it plans to no longer provide wireless services by October 31st, according to statements by the company (subscription required). Qwest will begin notifying its customers soon, telling them they have 60 days to find a new provider, but will not charge early termination fees for those still in mid-contract. The provider had piggybacked onto Verizon's network to provide its wireless voice services, and announced in July that more than 75 percent of its wireless business was on Verizon Wireless network by the end of the second quarter.
Qwest 40Mbps Internet
Confirming earlier reports, Qwest has introduced 40Mbps Internet service, nominally doubling the company's peak download speeds using VDSL2. Plans are designed around residences and small businesses, and come in two tiers. For the first 12 months, and only in tandem with a phone package, customers can pay $100 a month for an option with 5Mbps uploads. A $110 tier boosts uploads to as high as 20Mbps.
Qwest 40Mbps DSL Soon
Internet provider Qwest is planning to fight off faster cable and fiber optic access with an ultra high-speed option of its own, an insider says. A source within Qwest tells BBR the company is rolling out a VDSL2 infrastructure that resembles fiber-to-the-node and would more than double existing speeds. Downstream bandwidth would be twice as fast at 40Mbps, but upload speed would jump from 896Kbps to 20Mbps on the best possible plan.
Qwest offers free hotspots
Internet provider Qwest on Thursday announced it has started offering subscribers to its high-speed Internet service no-charge access to about 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the US. What is being touted as the country's largest Wi-Fi network, the hotspots are powered by AT&T, and Qwest subscribers can check for all the locations and log-in info at a dedicated Qwest website.
Helio May Close Stores
The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market in the US may be on the verge of collapse with Helio about to scale back or shut down entirely, according to a rumor circulated by Engadget. The provider is allegedly telling store managers that it will shut down at least some of its retail shops in possible preparation for a takeover by Virgin Mobile. No information has yet appeared to suggest that Helio is withdrawing support for the service itself.
Qwest Talks with AT&T
Qwest chief Ed Mueller has confirmed that his company is in talks with AT&T to port its cellular service to the larger carrier's network. The executive validates earlier reports and raises the possibility that his company would be willing to switch its handsets from Sprint's CDMA network to AT&T's GSM-based service. The talks join already-confirmed negotiations with Verizon and will see a decision made "soon," Mueller says.
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.