Qwest shutting down wireless service Oct. 31

Qwest will discontinue its branded wireless service as of Oct. 31. The carrier said it issued its customers a warning that they have 60 days to switch to another wireless provider. The announcement brings to a close Qwest's mobile virtual network operator efforts; the carrier last summer announced it would quit selling Qwest-branded service through its MVNO with Sprint Nextel in favor of reselling voice and data service from Verizon Wireless.

Qwest has been diligently working to transition its current Qwest Wireless customers onto Verizon Wireless' network. And it seems the efforts have paid off: Last month, Qwest said more than 75 percent of its wireless customer base had moved to Verizon's network by the end of the second quarter.

Qwest said it would not charge customers early termination fees for disconnecting Qwest Wireless service. The company said that customers who switch providers prior to Oct. 31 will be able to port their wireless phone numbers to the new operator. Further, Qwest said starting next month it will begin redirect all outgoing calls from its Qwest Wireles customers to a live Qwest representative, who will remind them that Qwest is discontinuing Qwest Wireless service and that they need to switch to a new carrier.

Qwest is one of a number of companies--including Disney, ESPN and others--to evacuate the MVNO space.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this release

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