OneFlex, Qwest's voice and high-speed Net bundle, will be available "very soon" to businesses in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and eight other major areas well outside the reach of the company's own telephone network, the local phone giant said Thursday.
"We plan to be in the out-of-region markets by the end of 2004," Qwest Chairman Richard Notebaert said during a conference call to discuss the carrier's third-quarter earnings results, which were released Thursday.
Traditional phone carriers are starting to see more local calls flow over the Internet rather than their own heavily regulated and taxed networks. In response, they have been adding their own voice over Internet Protocol ()-based services to lure business customers away from those companies that specialize in Net phone technology, such as Vonage Holdings.
Although Qwest was the first of the major phone companies to launch a Net phone service, it has since fallen behind rivals such as Verizon Communications and AT&T, whose own VoIP services are available nationwide.to sell unlimited local and long-distance phone service outside the reach of its own local telephone infrastructure.