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Nextel Disaster Continues to Drag Sprint Down
CEO: No Plan to Ditch Handset Subsidy Model...Yet
by Karl Bode 09:36AM Thursday Feb 07 2013
Sprint posted their fourth quarter earnings this morning, which show that the nation's third-largest wireless carrier lost $1.3 billion during the quarter as Sandy recovery and the company's necessary LTE network build dragged down earnings. Nextel customers also continue to flee the carrier, a process Sprint surely wishes could be expedited. Revenue however was $9 billion, up 3.2% from one year earlier and very slightly higher than Wall Street analyst expectations of $8.9 billion.

Like other carriers, Sprint paid a heavy price for iPhone subsidies, after selling 2.2 million of the devices on the quarter -- 38% of which went to new customers. Speaking to analysts and the press, CEO Dan Hesse stated that Sprint has no plans to follow T-Mobile's lead in killing subsidies, but that Sprint would remain flexible on the issue.

As for subscribers, Sprint lost 243,000 net contract subscribers during the quarter, compared to losses of 456,000 in Q3 and and a net gain of 161,00 subscribers one year ago. Sprint added 401,000 customers to the Sprint network, but the company lost 644,000 Nextel customers resulting in a subscriber net loss. Those pains should ease as the Nextel disaster fades further into the rear view mirror and the company's LTE build accelerates.

The company ended the quarter with 55.6 million total customers, up 1.1% from a year earlier.

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pandora
Premium
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Outland
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1 edit

Sprint probably can't get it's act together

Sprint has been a basket case for a long time. The relatively weak coverage, and poor data network were compensated for by lower prices for post-paid customers. Lately Sprint has been reducing discounts, for new and existing customers. Which makes Sprint post-paid not as good a deal as it was.

Currently my family is on Sprint pre-paid with $25 per month legacy 300 minute / unlimited data / texting plans. If we wanted to upgrade to newer phones, Sprint would charge us $35 per month for the same plan. Currently I'm testing a Nexus 4 with T-Mobile's $30 per month plan and AT&T via Straight Talk.

We'll eventually move to T-Mobile or Straight Talk after as we want / need and can afford new phones.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

1 edit

Re: Sprint probably can't get it's act together

I also still have my sero $30 a month plan with my antiquated htc touch. In order to upgrade my phone I would have to use android or apple phones with a new higher priced contract of which neither is wanted.

Around 3 weeks ago they did something to the tower locally so now it only connects at 1x rtt instead of evdo so my battery runs down to crap in 1/2 the time. I suspect its trying to connect to the evdo constantly so its using the battery too much.

This does not leave me an upgrade path with sprint that is acceptable so I will be taking my business elsewhere soon.

It has been good and no big problems but now its a huge problem.
--
Let them eat FIBER!

delusion ftl

@comcast.net

Re: Sprint probably can't get it's act together

If you want to keep that price, you can port your number over to t-mobile onto their 30 dollar a month 4G plan that has no phone restrictions. Granted the voice minutes are slim, but you get unlimited texting and data (5GB then throttle).

anon anon

@charter.com

Re: Sprint probably can't get it's act together

said by delusion ftl :

If you want to keep that price, you can port your number over to t-mobile onto their 30 dollar a month 4G plan that has no phone restrictions. Granted the voice minutes are slim, but you get unlimited texting and data (5GB then throttle).

unlimited data but throttled after 5 GB? Doesn't sound "unlimited" to me.

un·lim·it·ed

/nlimitid/

Adjective

1.Not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent.
2.(of a company) Not limited.
pandora
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1 edit

Re: Sprint probably can't get it's act together

said by anon anon :

unlimited data but throttled after 5 GB? Doesn't sound "unlimited" to me.

un·lim·it·ed

/nlimitid/

Adjective

1.Not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent.
2.(of a company) Not limited.

Number of bytes that can be moved through a cell phone per month are limited by the data rate of the carrier. This is true for all Internet access. The monthly average data rate per second, and the number of seconds in a month determine the maximum quantity of data that can be transferred.

Thus ALL Internet access is limited, by the data rate to a device. Regardless of any provider policy which may put additional limits on data.

For cell phones, check out »www.rootmetrics.com/special-repo···vg_speed Sprint runs at around 1/3 the Internet speed on average as T-Mobile. 65% of the time Sprint is under 1.5 Mbps, T-Mobile is that slow less than 25% of the time.

The fastest carrier reported by the site is Verizon, followed not surprisingly by AT&T.

The site doesn't break out Virgin Mobile, but I can assure you it's data rate is much slower. So I get "unlimited" very slow Internet access from Virgin Mobile, or 5 GB of amazingly fast Internet access from T-Mobile which then reduces my speed to roughly that of Virgin Mobile.

Which company has the better offer "unlimited" data offer?
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"

delusion ftl

@comcast.net
Explain to the thread how the user on sprints "unlimited" 3g that operates in most markets at ~100-200kbps is somehow better than t-mobile's "unlimited" that allows speeds up to 10-20mbps for 5GB then ~100-200kbps for the rest of the month.

When sprint has a spectrum cap on an evdo session that results in essentially 100% throttled all the time connection. This is a valid unlimited to you, but t-mobile's rate based throttling is invalid.
When sprint has a single t-1 line feeding a tower that results in 100% throttled traffic, that is a valid unlimited to you, but t-mobiles rate based is invalid?

Just so that I understand you, If t-mobile were to sell him an "unlimited" 200kbps data plan that was always 200kbps then you'd be all for it correct?

I have my username for a reason.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
TMO has unlimited plans again with no 5gb throttles.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
TMO-USA does NOT support CMDA phones. Its a GSM carrier.
mike656

join:2002-04-21
Orlando, FL

1 recommendation

Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

So in the end they will have paid over $30 billion dollars for 14 MHz of SMR spectrum (in most areas), a freebee gift of 10 MHz PCS G from the feds, and virtually no customers, sounds like they made a great investment lol. I bet if Sprint decided to do something and just did the opposite of that every time, they would actually be successful. If I were Softbank, I would charter some jets filled with Japanese replacements to Overland Park KS, and boot out every single person in corporate the day the deal is done.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

Uh yes, the former management who agreed to the Sprint Nextel was horrible. What you are looking for here is Gary D Forsee, who came in to be Sprint's CEO in 2005 when they were making great strides, and proceeded to buy Nextel...

»consumerist.com/2007/02/07/gary-···he-time/

Dan Hesse is actually a really competent CEO.
mike656

join:2002-04-21
Orlando, FL

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

Hesse screwed up AT&T Wireless in the 90's, basically taking all of its advantages against soon to be Verizon Wireless and flush them down the toilet.

Fast forward to 2007 when he became Sprint CEO. Since then theres been Clearwire, Lightsquared, losing partnership with the Cable Co's, SERO, money pit Nextel network that should have been shut down 5 years ago, Qchat, allowing the data network to burn to the ground, and on and on and on......

Sounds like a real winner

LoveNerdTalk

@comcast.net
Agreed - I've been watching Sprint very closely lately as I have been considering leaving them for VZ or T. However, their Network Vision plan is a very solid plan and they do appear to be on track to deliver results. Unfortunately, patience is required. I have high hopes for the future of Sprint, but the next 12 - 18 months will mostly likely be continuing hell. The technical behind NV will allow them to be more flexible and competitive towards the monoliths.

Now, if that means at little pain so that I don't have to support the defacto duopoly, then so be it.

As far as Dan Hesse, he seems to be a good CEO maybe not the best but good. That jackass before him...well two words spell out that fiasco. SPRINT NEXTEL

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

Net work vision has been going very nicely here I almost never go under three bars and I have a full signal a lot of the time even when There is no tower near by and 3G data speeds are going up here as well.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

That is probably them "fixing" their problems that they should have done. You can't claim that is part of NV.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
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If he was such as great CEO, he would have killed the option to move from Sprint to Nextel and Nextel to Sprint from day one when he took over. Instead he didn't and created the mess he has no with trying to shut down the network. And then charging the customers and extra $10 to keep the iDEN network option until June when he agreed to the feds.

Softbank's first day of business and first thing should be to boot him out the door and bring in someone that knows what they're doing or even hire a trained monkey.
Expand your moderator at work
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

1 edit
Everyone involved in the Nextel 'merger' decision is already gone. The new management is doing a pretty good job cleaning up the considerable mess, with basically new CDMA customers in the end, just not enough to offset Nextel losses (for post-paid). Once they shut down the iDen network by next year and convert/lose the last 2M Nextel customers, it will all be over and Sprint can then move forward.

Sprint likely already assumes they'll lose 60%+ of remaining Nextel customers and setting those expectations. They can then move forward with adding CDMA to 800Mhz and use 2500 to augment capacity.

Moropo
Premium
join:2002-07-28

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

They will also do LTE on 800MHz besides what you stated.
TBBroadband

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the pretty good job would have been to stop the changing back and forth between networks and they should have stopped iDEN from signing up customers YEARS ago. But did they? NOPE! Instead the new CEO is gouging those in contracts with the $10 fee to keep their iDEN service just because they don't wish to migrate over to CDMA like they should have been doing all along.
DarnellP

join:2004-10-12
Las Vegas, NV

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

said by TBBroadband:

the pretty good job would have been to stop the changing back and forth between networks and they should have stopped iDEN from signing up customers YEARS ago. But did they? NOPE! Instead the new CEO is gouging those in contracts with the $10 fee to keep their iDEN service just because they don't wish to migrate over to CDMA like they should have been doing all along.

Wow, you've done an absolutely AMAZING job of Monday morning quarterbacking!

BillRoland
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said by mike656:

So in the end they will have paid over $30 billion dollars for 14 MHz of SMR spectrum (in most areas), a freebee gift of 10 MHz PCS G from the feds, and virtually no customers, sounds like they made a great investment lol. I bet if Sprint decided to do something and just did the opposite of that every time, they would actually be successful. If I were Softbank, I would charter some jets filled with Japanese replacements to Overland Park KS, and boot out every single person in corporate the day the deal is done.

That's not quite accurate, at the peak NEXTEL had somewhere around 25 million customers. Also, all that 2.5GHz spectrum was NEXTELs as well I believe.
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mike656

join:2002-04-21
Orlando, FL

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

Virtually no customers now by the time they shut down the network, not when it was purchased.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint screwing up is a constant in the Universe

A quick search shows Sprint had about 52 million CDMA and iDen customers in 2006 about time of the merger. They have 55 million today. They did lose a lot of Nextel customers but some converted to CDMA and have had some other growth.

They only have about 2M Nextel customers left and will be shutting it off soon, the era is just about over.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
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1 edit
said by BillRoland:

said by mike656:

So in the end they will have paid over $30 billion dollars for 14 MHz of SMR spectrum (in most areas), a freebee gift of 10 MHz PCS G from the feds, and virtually no customers, sounds like they made a great investment lol. I bet if Sprint decided to do something and just did the opposite of that every time, they would actually be successful. If I were Softbank, I would charter some jets filled with Japanese replacements to Overland Park KS, and boot out every single person in corporate the day the deal is done.

That's not quite accurate, at the peak NEXTEL had somewhere around 25 million customers. Also, all that 2.5GHz spectrum was NEXTELs as well I believe.

I'm pretty sure all Nextel had was SMR band and a piece of PCS spectrum from the rebanding. Sprint got the wimax idea and spectrum right after the Nextel merger.

Edit: I withdraw the above statement and agree that you are correct
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n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

My Sprint iPhone

I was given a Sprint iPhone 4S in October 2011. It works great for voice but I hope it will be the last Sprint iPhone I get. The 3G data is useless for the most part and Sprint's policy of never unlocking the phone for domestic SIM usage when the device is fully paid for guarantees it to be a brick if one decides to upgrade. A person would have to be crazy to pay Sprint for an iPhone that they will never be able to use with any other carrier. I would rather give my money to Verizon as they provide fully unlocked iPhone's now. In fact, if you can absorb the price of the iPhone, you might be better off with T-Mobile.
--
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BillRoland
Premium
join:2001-01-21
Ocala, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Played out

Being able to blame all their problems on their botched NEXTEL acquisition is just about to be played out. Personally I don't see anything wonderful Hesse has done for them.

SprintIsEvil

@mckesson.com

Simply Evil....

Their network coverage is limited. You can forget indoor signal. They tend to change terms during contract period. My bill went up by $90 during the 2yr contract period.

The LTE build out is slow. And they still call they wimax 4g. Many users think that's equal to LTE.
DarnellP

join:2004-10-12
Las Vegas, NV

Re: Simply Evil....

said by SprintIsEvil :

Their network coverage is limited. You can forget indoor signal. They tend to change terms during contract period. My bill went up by $90 during the 2yr contract period.

The LTE build out is slow. And they still call they wimax 4g. Many users think that's equal to LTE.

My indoor reception is just fine with them and by (revised) definition, WiMAX IS 4G so I'm not sure what your point is.
qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA
Reviews:
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I have an old Sprint plan

I have an 8 year old family plan that includes 3G data, but Sprint refuses to allow me to upgrade to ANY phone that includes wifi because they consider these 'smart' phones and they want me to dump my plan and get one that would be twice as expensive. Right now I have THREE phones that I can choose from on their site -and none of them even has a keyboard. Of course, they will sell me an LG Rumor Touch USED for 80 bucks. Problem is, I got a new one from them 2 years ago for 20 dollars! My wife and my phones both died and I had to find used ones on ebay. When I called Dan Hesse's assistant, she basically told me: "don't let the door hit you on the way out". Anyone know of a fair priced plan for 4-5 phones?
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: I have an old Sprint plan

Buy them used or drop Sprint.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Customer Growth

Do they count their prepaid customers as part of their new customers??? And even better do they count their MVNO partner's customers?