Sprint Still Bleeding Customers, Money; Looks to Softbank to Finance LTE Upgrade
February 7, 2013 2:48 PM
comment(s) - last by
Partial acquisition by Japanese carrier
Sprint Nextel Corp. (
) posted a rather grim
for its fiscal Q4 2012, however, the blow was softened somewhat by its pending
$20B USD partial acquisition
by Japanese carrier giant Softbank Corp. (
). 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. (
) and Vodafone Group Plc. (
) -- and AT&T Inc. (
customers for the quarter. Verizon added 2.1 million new contract subscribers, while AT&T bumped subscriptions by 780,000.
[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.
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RE: It's the network stupid
2/8/2013 8:50:53 AM
I've had Sprint for many years now and my experience has usually be the reverse. The network isn't as good as the competition but their customer service is better, though I haven't had need to call them too much.
Just hope they actually follow through with this 4G upgrade, because for the last two years I paid for their last 4G network that I never got to use.
RE: It's the network stupid
2/8/2013 12:20:09 PM
Your story mimics mine exactly....
...My contract is up, and I'm going to hold off on re-signing for the better part of this year for two reasons:
1. To see what happens with their network upgrades (if it actually starts and makes news, I'll stay - if not...not sure what I'm going to do...)
2. I'm going to wait til Q2/Q3 to upgrade my phone anyways (I like the phones on the market, but they've all been out for the better part of 6 months or more...want to see what else comes this year before getting an "old" phone)
Truly though, I just can't bring myself to pay a ton more each month for Verizon or AT&T, and then get a CAP on my data use...based on my year over year usage at Sprint, to get the same number of phones and just faster service with Verizon (for example), I'd be paying ~$90 more a month...no thanks..
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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