Qwest Launches Wholesale Agent Program

Posted: 3/2004

Qwest Launches Wholesale Agent Program

By Khali Henderson

Qwest Communications International Inc. is launching an agent program for its voice and data wholesale
services sales to other carriers and resellers.

Deborah L. Petrie told PHONE+ the program was initiated after
the carrier began turning away business brought to it by agents selling retail
services as part of the Qwest Business Partner Program. In fact, she says, the
initial members in the Wholesale Agent Sales program are current QBPP members
who now will sign separate agreements with the wholesale division. Those deals
were expected to be completed by the end of February. The company declined to
disclose the names of its new partners.

Qwest officially will unveil the program at the Channel Partners
Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this month with plans to expand the program
in phases. The first phase will include five to six agents and is expected to
run for 90 days. At the end of the period, Qwest will review the program to
determine whether to offer it to additional partners in a second

There is not a significant amount of agents that specialize in
wholesale, says Petrie, noting that most are known to the carrier and are
excarrier sales representatives.

Unlike other wholesale agent programs that compensate agents for
closed leads, Qwest is offering monthly recurring commissions.

The channel program will operate similarly to QBPP, but will be
fully integrated with Qwest Wholesales direct carrier sales team to manage
selling opportunities. Both the partner and the direct rep will be compensated
on deals. They [the agent] will bring the account and lead in to Qwest and work
through the contract period. They will function as the entry point of the
relationship, says Petrie.

Qwest staff members are assigned as account managers just as if
the sale were made by an inhouse sales representative, to maintain the account
on an ongoing basis.

Petrie says most of the sales are expected to be traditional
voice services, such as toll-free, domestic and international termination.
Agents also will be able to sell other products, such as private line, ATM and
frame relay, she says.

Qwest Communications International Inc.

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