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Qwest Talking to AT&T for Wireless
Though Verizon might be the more likely option
by Karl Bode 01:33PM Friday Mar 07 2008 Tipped by viperlmw See Profile
Qwest currently resells Sprint wireless phone & EVDO broadband service, but tacks on a premium and imposes a 5GB monthly broadband cap -- both of which users could avoid if they just signed up with Sprint. The offer doesn't really excite anybody, including Qwest's CEO. He's recently been talking to Verizon as a possible Sprint replacement, and now XChange Magazine says that Qwest is also talking with AT&T. Qwest will have to decide which is a better fit:
While AT&T can offer Qwest access to the iPhone, Verizon offers extensive service bundling opportunities. Qwest’s Sprint-based offering is a CDMA service, so moving subscribers to Verizon’s CDMA network would be a less painful transition for end users than going with GSM-based AT&T, requiring no handset exchanges.
If the existing 824,000 Qwest wireless customers don't have to swap handsets (something that isn't certain) -- it would make Verizon more attractive. The news obviously comes at a bad time for Sprint, who is trying hard to stem subscriber losses and convince the public and investors that they're righting the ship.

topics flat nest 

Canadian, eh?

Valencia, CA

1 edit

They should use Alltel - similar coverage areas.

AT&T wouldn't be all that great for Wireless in many of Qwest's areas, as it would be a lot of roaming.
Qwest would do better to hook up with Alltel, with the execption of a few areas (Denver) for native coverage.
Canada = Hollywood North

Cleveland, OH

Re: They should use Alltel - similar coverage areas.

very true. Alltel also uses VZW and Sprint for roaming. I love my Alltel coverage. A lot more areas that Sprint didnt have or changed tower placement. and the larger calling area. They don't use the Largest Calling Network for nothing.


Phoenix, AZ
Especially across the Dakotas where GSM coverage is sketchy at best, more so if you stray from the Interstate. Even in parts of the Twin Cities, Qwest Wireless would switch to roam which I thought was hilarious.

North Wales, PA


Actually, Qwest's customers would need to change handsets. Even though Sprint and Verizon are CDMA, you cannot use their phones across networks like you can on GSM.


Canadian, eh?

Valencia, CA

Re: Misinformation

I think technically that they could, however, most carriers do not like the use of other carrier handsets.
Verizon has its customized UI and services tied to its handsets. Many of the Sprint functions by default would not function.
Also, I wouldn't expect Verizon to allow Sprint handsets anyways.
Canada = Hollywood North

making really tiny tech things

Re: Misinformation

Would Sprint even allow their branded handsets to be used on a competitors network? Especially one who would be taking some of their business away from them?

There probably is something in the licencing of the hardware or firmware of the Sprint branded handsets that would prevent them from being used, at least, without some sort of compensation.
New to Forum Life? Click here and learn.

Re: Misinformation

The handsets Qwest uses on the Sprint network are Qwest branded, and use Qwest software. Plus, if Qwest moves to another provider, this would all be negotiated in the agreement.

When Qwest did the transition to the Sprint network they replaced some older phones, but for the most part the phones were changed over through a software download each customer had to do in order to switch over to the new network.


Re: Misinformation

I was working for Qwest during the transition to Sprint, actually. The reason most of the phones switched over with just a PRL update was because the old network was also CDMA, the same as Sprint. Switching to AT&T's GSM network would require new phones since they're different network configurations (GSM also uses phones with SIM cards). And to the earlier post, yes, you can use phones from other providers on a different network (as long as they're both CDMA). You just need to be able to unlock the phone.

Alfred, ME
·Time Warner Cable
·Sprint Mobile Br..
I have Sprint service here in Maine and when I am roaming I am using Verizons network. All services work except for the locate feature where people can see where you are in real time.

Complete Your Transaction



avoid both Verizon and AT&T. any of the other providers are superior.

Re: ugh

What other providers? Sprint that Qwest is already using? Alltel, which may be good. Or maybe T-Mobile which has a smaller footprint.


It's called leverage

Qwest is simply doing this to leverage a better deal with Sprint. The switch will be too costly to be worth the effort.

Las Vegas, NV

Re: It's called leverage

said by xenophon:

Qwest is simply doing this to leverage a better deal with Sprint. The switch will be too costly to be worth the effort.
I would tend to agree with this sentiment.

I think Qwest will end up jumping ship. Sprint just doesn't have the network in the Qwest 14 state region. Look at the maps. They only offer EVDO in eight of Qwest states. They have made it clear that they badly want to sell mobile broadband. Looking at the competition.

Verizon owns all of the old Qwest PCS spectrum. They have EVDO coverage in 13 of 14 Qwest states. South Dakota is the only state without EVDO coverage. Some handsets would need to be changed, but the majority could be transitioned with a software download.

As for AT&T they have HSDPA in 12 of the 14 states, but their coverage isn't even close to what Verizon has got, and the transition would be more costly.

T-mobile will never be part of this discussion. They haven't launched HSDPA to a major market yet. Never mind smaller Qwest markets.

That leaves us with Alltel who is the only other logical choice. They have EVDO coverage in all 14 Qwest states but, Verizon has better coverage overall. Specifically in the major markets which Verizon cover more of. Alltel has a major coverage advantage in North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Verizon pretty much rules the roost everywhere else.

I think Verizon will get the contract. It just makes the most sense given what Qwest has said in the media.

as Mr. Pink as they come
Phoenix, AZ

Qworst - Qwest is. . . .

the charter communications of telephone companies.
US West by any other name stinks as bad.
You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much Bandwidth


Mobile, AL

Why did they sell their network?

If they want to sell wireless service I don't understand why they sold their network a few years back. Not a very good decision if you ask me.


Re: Why did they sell their network?

They were trying to save the company from bankruptcy. They sold off the yellow page business and the wireless buisness. They were so strapped for cash they couldn't build out a national network.

The real mistake was selling off air touch cellular back in the 90's. Which of course became a major part of the Verizon network.