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Partial acquisition by Japanese carrier

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) posted a rather grim earnings report for its fiscal Q4 2012, however, the blow was softened somewhat by its pending $20B USD partial acquisition by Japanese carrier giant Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984).  Sprint is losing money -- and subscribers -- but is expected to benefit from Softbank's commitment to finance a large network upgrade to 4G LTE in 2013.

Sprint lost $1.32B USD on revenue of $9B USD in Q4 2012.  That represents a 3.2 percent rise in revenue, but essentially no shift on the loss front (in 2011 Sprint lost $1.3B USD in Q4).  Sprint lost 337,000 customers for the quarter (about the same as the Q4 2011) losses and its sister Nextel network lost 1 million subscribers.

Rivals Verizon Wireless -- the U.S. mobile carrier jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- and AT&T Inc. (Tboth added customers for the quarter.  Verizon added 2.1 million new contract subscribers, while AT&T bumped subscriptions by 780,000.

Sprint sign
[Image Source: Scott Lippincott]

Sprint's postpaid offerings did quite well and it did manage to sell 2.2 million iPhones in the quarter (versus 8.6 million iPhones sold by AT&T and 6.2 million iPhones by Verizon).

For the year Sprint gained about 605,000 customers thanks to strong postpaid performance.  Sprint lost $4.3B USD for the year on revenue of $35.3B USD.

Sprint has begun constructing LTE network capabilities in 450 cities.  Its current network covers 58 cities, and 170 more will be added in "coming months". The network upgrade is expected to run $3.6B USD.

Source: Sprint

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RE: It's the network stupid
By Shig on 2/7/2013 3:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
Or you can go to Verizon, pay more, have excellent speed and burn through your monthly allowance in a day. Yay caps.

RE: It's the network stupid
By RufusM on 2/8/2013 3:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I switched to T-Mobile pre-paid about a year ago from Sprint pre-paid. I tried it as an experiment and stayed.

I've found T-Mobile to have better network coverage than Sprint (in my area and when I travel) and their data speeds are pretty good. On T-Mobile I average about 7Mb/1Mb up but it bursts to 20Mb/3Mb in good areas.

None of them touch Verizon for overall metro and rural coverage but you pay a premium for them too.

RE: It's the network stupid
By Reclaimer77 on 2/9/2013 8:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
Well for me personally I was paying for unlimited data, but at the end of the day I discovered that I wasn't using that much. Sprint's WiMax network is so horrible and unreliable that I was connecting to every WiFi network I could anyway.

Just last month I paid their rape-you early termination fee and went with Verizon. And I couldn't be happier. You can make all the jokes you want, but what's the point of unlimited data if you can't even use it? It's a shell game. Sprint sat on their ass and watched everyone pass them by with LTE build-outs, but offer unlimited data hoping you won't complain.

Sprint is the worst. They just are. Verizon's service is just incredible, and I can live well within the cap no problem.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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