Qwest Kills Wireless Service

While wireless for most telcos is a profit generator and a must-have, Qwest Communications International Inc. must not see it that way. As of Oct. 31, it will completely shut down its wireless service, despite proclaiming this time last year that one of its biggest initiatives will be wireless and the quad play.

The move to landline-only is an interesting one, considering that it saw a 9-percent revenue drop, to $3.09 billion, in the second quarter thanks to consumers canceling home phone service.

But Qwest, unlike its fellow RBOCs, does not have a wireless network. Qwest has been without wireless holdings since 2005, when it sold off its spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless for $418 million. It had been reselling service from Sprint-Nextel Corp. under the Qwest Wireless brand, and last year switched to reselling Verizon.

Qwest is giving a 60-day notice period ahead of the shutdown, and will start routing calls to call centers in September, where representatives will remind subscribers they will need to port their service elsewhere.

While the Qwest Wireless brand and the resale agreement will be no more, Qwest will remain an authorized agent for Verizon, and can offer combined billing for customers that choose to port service to Verizon.

The carrier is not charging early termination fees for ending service before the Oct. 31 deadline.

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