New York (AP) Qwest communications international will stop reselling Sprint Nextel's wireless service and move its subscribers to Verizon Wireless' network.
The move announced today means Sprint, already struggling with a dwindling customer base, will lose more subscribers. Denver-based Qwest contributed 824,000 to Sprint's rolls of nearly 54 million subscribers at the end of last year.
Sprint shares rose 83 cents, or 11 percent, to close at $8.72.
Qwest says it had signed a five-year contract with Verizon Wireless that will take effect this summer. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Current wireless subscribers will receive a free, comparable Verizon wireless handset, probably in the last three months of this year.