Sprint's signal may be fading with Qwest as Verizon enters
By Crayton Harrison, Bloomberg News
Wednesday, February 26, 2008
Verizon Communications is in talks to replace Sprint Nextel as
the wireless partner of Qwest, according to Verizon executives.
The second-ranked mobile-phone carrier is considering whether to
work with Qwest, chief executive Ivan Seidenberg told investors
at a closed-door meeting Tuesday in
New York. Spokesman Robert
Varettoni confirmed Seidenberg's remarks and declined to comment
Qwest, which has resold Sprint's service since 2004, is seeking
a new agreement and may replace its current partner, chief
executive Edward Mueller said Monday. Denver-based Qwest,
with 824,000 wireless subscribers, wants to sell newer handsets
and more data services than its contract with Sprint allows,
Sprint also is in active discussions with Qwest, Sprint
spokeswoman Melinda Tiemeyer said.
Sprint lost 1.2 million contract subscribers last year amid
complaints of dropped calls and customer-service glitches.
The company had 54 million customers at the end of last year,
including Qwest's users.
Verizon, which trails AT&T in total mobile-phone customers,
would gain more subscribers by striking an agreement with Qwest.