Qwest to Phase Out Some Wireless Calling - 1

Some 20,000 Qwest Wireless customers will lose a feature that allows free calls to be placed to cellular phones in different area codes.

DENVER (AP)—Some 20,000 Qwest Wireless customers will lose a feature that allows free calls to be placed to cellular phones in different area codes.

The company is eliminating the feature known as wide-area calling in its 14-state region, Qwest spokesman Carey Brandt said.

Customers will begin incurring long distance charges for calls to other area codes after the feature is eliminated Friday.

Brandt said the feature must be phased out to allow customers to keep the same phone number when changing carriers.

Other wireless carriers, including Sprint, have phased out similar services in most markets.

Brandt and Sprint spokesman Dave Mellin said the change is necessary for technological reasons.