My guess is that QWEST is going to partner with SPRINT/NEXTEL for the 3G wireless and all the Cellular network…………..funniest thing is that Sprint is OUTSOURCING all data/voip calls to Level3……….so, QWEST will now be riding Level3 for every cell phone call or every data 3G wireless. Sprint is already riding Level3 for most Cellular Access and all VOIP calls.
But another crucial tie-up got less attention: that Sprint is using Level 3 to connect the VoIP service to the PSTN. That’s particularly important because calls traveling over an IP network to or from any given local market have to go through a VoIP gateway to connect with phones on the public network there.
Insisting on using only its own gear means a service provider can roll out service only as fast as it can install gateways in or near target markets. Level 3, by contrast, had a nationwide infrastructure in place, and was also able to provide other crucial capabilities such as E911, local number portability, and the provisioning of new phone numbers in most markets. In all, says Whitaker, “[Level 3’s] broad service footprint is a key differentiator for Sprint IP Voice Connect.”
The two-pronged outsourcing strategy meant Sprint could from the start offer the new service in 251 metropolitan areas in 47 states. “I think it’s brilliant,” says Brian Washburn, senior analyst at Current Analysis. “It makes them magically a nationwide player.”
Perhaps more important, it let them go nationwide more cheaply than the competition. Most other Tier 1 carriers entering the enterprise VoIP market ended up building the necessary infrastructure themselves, Washburn says. And while Sprint could have gone the same route, Washburn says, “I think they looked at it and said, ‘Why reinvent the wheel?’”