In its first quarter, Qwest experienced gains in broadband metrics, and data services grew, but not enough to offset losses in traditional telephony.

Qwest’s operating income was down more than a percentage point, but its net income was down by one-third, from $240 million in its first quarter a year ago to $157 million in the first quarter completed March 31. The company made a $304 million dent in its debt, which continues to exceed $13 billion.

As of the end of Q1 ’08, the company had 2.7 million broadband subscribers, up from 2.3 million a year ago. Net broadband adds in the quarter totaled 90,000.

Qwest added 50,000 video subscribers in the quarter, almost exclusively through its partnership with DirecTV. That made the company’s total 699,000; it had 491,000 a year ago.

Wireless subscribership was essentially flat year-over-year, going from 812,000 at the end of Q1 ’07 to 816,000 at the end of Q1 ’08.

Separately, Qwest said that it would cease private-labeling mobile service from Sprint Nextel, and begin reselling cellular services from Verizon Wireless.

More Broadband Direct:

Samsung 1st to sign up for CableLabs' tru2way licensing agreement 

Qwest dropping Sprint, going mobile with Verizon 

Qwest sweats its way to narrower Q1 profit 

Pace to show new MPEG-4 boxes at Cable Show 

Allot upgrades NetXplorer system 

India's IOL Netcom picks Verimatrix for content security 

Broadband Briefs for 5/6/08