Big telecom winner: Qwest

Alisa Roth Mar 30, 2007


LISA NAPOLI: While the former CEO of Qwest is on trial this week for insider trading, the company got some good news. It’s one of three companies that’s been chosen to bid on contracts with the federal government. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth says they could be worth as much as $48 billion.

ALISA ROTH: Qwest, together with Verizon and AT&T, will be allowed to compete for business from dozens of federal agencies, from the Treasury Department to Homeland Security.

The contract winners will overhaul and upgrade the government’s voice, video and data systems over the next decade.

Telecom analyst Scott Cleland says there’s a lot of money at stake — but there’s even more glory.

SCOTT CLELAND: This is a very important contract, because the U.S. government is the largest client in the United States.

He says getting a thumbs-up from the government will also give the companies more credibility when they bid on other deals.

CLELAND: For Qwest it’s a huge win. They’re the biggest winners here, because now they’re in the top tier with AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint is the big loser in all this.

It had been a major government supplier for years. It’s meeting with the Feds next week to discuss why it lost out. The company says it’s still hoping to get a piece of another telecom contract that will be awarded in May.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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