It looks like Sprint just didn’t have what Qwest wireless wanted from an MVNO network lease partner. Making good on previous speculation that Qwest was preparing to drop Sprint and sign up with Verizon Wireless, Qwest has announced that, come this summer, Big Red will be providing wireless airtime to Qwest’s wireless subscribers. The move marks Qwest’s adoption of a new business model. Gone are the days of Qwest’s red-ink-stained MVNO balance sheet – Qwest will now offer all of Verizon Wireless’s cellphones and services through Qwest’s call centers, retails channels, and website.
The new deal with VZW is said to be “much, much better” than the previous MVNO deal with Sprint. Qwest’s MVNO operation with Sprint limited the small carrier to offering wireless service only to customers that were within the 14-state area where it offers its landline phone service. In this new deal with Verizon, Qwest will be able to offer wireless service, through Verizon Wireless, to customers in all 50 states.
Qwest will essentially become a third-party Verizon Wireless dealer with special privileges. All customers that purchase wireless service through one of Qwest’s bundled service packages will be billed through Qwest. Any customers signing up for wireless service by itself will see their bill coming directly from Verizon Wireless.
Qwest is eager to kick off its 5-year deal with Verizon Wireless, especially with the prospect of giving its customers access to Verizon Wireless’s stable of mobile phones and next-generation broadband data network (LTE, when it launches).
[Via: RCR News]