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Sprint Still Battling Its Nextel Demons
Though Financially Things Keep Improving
by Karl Bode 08:25AM Wednesday Apr 24 2013
Things at Sprint aren't great, but they're still not quite as bad as they used to be. Sprint's first quarter earnings indicate that the company continues to do battle with its ill-advised acquisition of Nextel. The company lost 415,000 subscribers on the quarter, driven largely by by a loss of 771,000 Nextel customers. Sprint posted a $643 million quarterly loss, though that's smaller than the $863 million loss posted one year ago. Revenue edges up slightly to $8.79 billion from one year ago, and Sprint says they sold some 5million smartphones during the quarter, 1.5 million of them being iPhones. Meanwhile, Clearwire has announced that they'll vote on Sprint's takeover of that company on May 21.

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xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Nextel to shutdown end of June

Most losses are iDen side getting kicked off, so should improve by end of year but real growth probably wont kick into gear until LTE rollout is complete. When Nextel is shutdown, 800Mhz LTE rollout can start and then things will get interesting.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

Yep,
Me and the wife were 2 of those that got kicked off iDen a while back.

Is Sprint involved in any way with Boost Mobile? Boost was part of Nextel originally, wasn't it
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonk ··· amonkey/
MRCUR

join:2007-03-09
Reading, PA

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

Sprint owns Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

There are still about 1.3M iDen users left according to the report. They'll lose half but iDen ARPU is almost half CDMA users so with those they keep, wont be a big revenue hit in the end.

Sprint will bottom out at about 54M users at end of next Q (rest of iDen kicked off) and will likely grow slowly from there but probably not much postpaid growth until LTE rollout complete. When 800Mhz rollout kicks into gear, Sprint will be able to compete better with ATT/VZW, especially if they keep unlimited data.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

said by xenophon:

There are still about 1.3M iDen users left according to the report. They'll lose half but iDen ARPU is almost half CDMA users so with those they keep, wont be a big revenue hit in the end.

Sprint will bottom out at about 54M users at end of next Q (rest of iDen kicked off) and will likely grow slowly from there but probably not much postpaid growth until LTE rollout complete. When 800Mhz rollout kicks into gear, Sprint will be able to compete better with ATT/VZW, especially if they keep unlimited data.

Also if the SoftBank deal goes through they'll be in a great financial position to acquire some 600 MHz spectrum at the next auction.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Sprint bought only VM USA and the Boost Mobile USA brand. Boost is actually a world brand just as Virgin Mobile. They both operate in other countries.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
don't count on that after Dan has made comments today about increasing costs and finding "more ways to increase income" of the company. Means higher prices and more fees. If anything Sprint will lose customers to others. Especially since prepaid has a 20% increase as well. Why be nickel-ed and dimed on a contract with Sprint when you can use an MVNO and get the same service at more than half the cost????

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Clinton Township, MI

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

said by TBBroadband:

don't count on that after Dan has made comments today about increasing costs and finding "more ways to increase income" of the company. Means higher prices and more fees. If anything Sprint will lose customers to others. Especially since prepaid has a 20% increase as well. Why be nickel-ed and dimed on a contract with Sprint when you can use an MVNO and get the same service at more than half the cost????

Your right. I seen somewhere a good comparison list of what it cost to own a Iphone, for 2 years, with the top 4 wireless providers. Think TMobile was the cheapest. It was most expensive on Sprint (thought they had unlimited data). However, though Sprint hopes people see the unlimited data as a deal breaker for those wanting to jump ship, what people don't realize it's unlimited because it takes 5x (jmo) longer to do anything .

www.macworld.com/article/1162844 ··· red.html'
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

1 edit

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

said by tc1uscg:

However, though Sprint hopes people see the unlimited data as a deal breaker for those wanting to jump ship, what people don't realize it's unlimited because it takes 5x (jmo) longer to do anything

Not for me - get up to 25Mbps and use 6-9GB/month. Will be interesting if Sprint keeps unlimited after the Network Vision rollout. Sprint LTE performance is good (6-25Mbps+) when you can get it but they still have to complete the coverage, which won't happen til next year. As more users go LTE, the performance will go down but I'd rather have 2-3Mbps unlimited than 10 or even 100Mbps with a 2-5GB cap. Smartphone apps and light tethered browsing don't need more than a few Mbps, latency matters more after a few Mbps.

Sprint will be different when they go 800Mhz, will be more competitive in coverage.

Edit: According to last report they have 13K sites complete now with LTE, 12K sites in progress, so 25K out of 38K sites to complete 'soon'. The rest likely late this year to next year along with 800Mhz starting later this year.

They have a lot more LTE coverage reported by users in cities that have not yet been announced...
»sensorly.com/map/4G/US/USA/Sprin ··· 10sprint
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Nextel to shutdown end of June

Correction on 800Mhz. Sprint claims here they are already starting to deploy 800Mhz voice and LTE will start later this year...

»seekingalpha.com/article/1365951 ··· t?page=4
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

hmm

I wish they would keep the much needed nextel tower in LoS of my porch :-/ Sprint has a bad weak coverage here and it would definitely help.. Hell, even an interstate has come through the area... I just can't believe they will let it go like it appears to be...
josephf

join:2009-04-26

Re: hmm

Presumably they may replace the Nextel towers with Sprint towers, now that Nextel is being shut down.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: hmm

Sprint is doing SOME conversions but there are not going to be many Sprint sites that replace Nextel sites.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

2 edits
Sprint will be rolling out 800MHz Voice, and then later on LTE so you'll see a lot better coverage on Sprint's network in your area when the upgrades are complete.

You are in the Nashville market so you will see upgrades pretty soon, you're about 9 miles south of the closest upgraded tower.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Re: hmm

said by NiteSn0w:

Sprint will be rolling out 800MHz Voice, and then later on LTE so you'll see a lot better coverage on Sprint's network in your area when the upgrades are complete.

You are in the Nashville market so you will see upgrades pretty soon, you're about 9 miles south of the closest upgraded tower.

Looking at the map for bon aqua, im in the part of Dickson where interstate 840 crosses from dickson to Williamson county... Well, i'm just a tad above it but as the bird flies, there are other towers about 4 miles or so out, but we do have a tree problem... I'm hoping you guys are correct about the 800 mhz, but I think verizon use's that frequency here and their service has been very bad.. Especially sense december... /shrug we shall see I guess

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Nextel merger was a mistake

Nextel was good on its own. The Sprint merger dragged it down.

Nextel was popular among business and government users. When I first got broadband in 2001, the installer used a Nextel phone on Direct Connect mode to talk to his dispatcher to provision the modem. The administrators at my high school had school district issued phones through Nextel. The administrators said that the Nextel phones had better reception than their previous phones.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US

Re: Nextel merger was a mistake

said by IowaCowboy:

Nextel was good on its own. The Sprint merger dragged it down.

Nextel was popular among business and government users. When I first got broadband in 2001, the installer used a Nextel phone on Direct Connect mode to talk to his dispatcher to provision the modem. The administrators at my high school had school district issued phones through Nextel. The administrators said that the Nextel phones had better reception than their previous phones.

There was no upgrade path going forward so Nextel execs being the smart group that they were found a way to make money and get out. Sprint just happened to be the sucker that bought it.
--


tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Clinton Township, MI

Re: Nextel merger was a mistake

said by bobjohnson:

said by IowaCowboy:

Nextel was good on its own. The Sprint merger dragged it down.

Nextel was popular among business and government users. When I first got broadband in 2001, the installer used a Nextel phone on Direct Connect mode to talk to his dispatcher to provision the modem. The administrators at my high school had school district issued phones through Nextel. The administrators said that the Nextel phones had better reception than their previous phones.

There was no upgrade path going forward so Nextel execs being the smart group that they were found a way to make money and get out. Sprint just happened to be the sucker that bought it.

Bingo!
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
No it wasn't a mistake. The problem was when Dan took over he didn't do anything to keep people from moving back and forth between the two companies. he should have shut down Nextel when he had the chance but didn't. Instead he waited, and waited and waited and came up with Q-Chat which was USELESS and didn't even work; hell it wasn't even fully launched and you had to wait for the app to actually connect to the system before you could use it. Pointless for Direct Connect/Walkie-Talkie.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Nextel wasn't a bad decision for Sprint

They got a lot of valuable 800mhz spectrum nationwide. Now we'll see if they actually put it to good use and build out a network like Verizon's.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Nextel wasn't a bad decision for Sprint

Yeah, Nextel had nowhere to go but down. Sprint wanted the spectrum and customer base but did a horrible job transitioning them to a usable CDMA PTT.
kem09030

join:2004-11-29
Rushville, IL

Re: Nextel wasn't a bad decision for Sprint

I believe some of that also falls on the phone manufacturers. Many of the phones that had PTT were very unreliable themselves. I have the v950 now and it is good as a phone. I remember a lot of PTT issues when it was first released. Those were fixed for the most part with firmware updates then the data network went to crap. Sprint is to blame for the failing network which is now getting the attention it needs. Hopefully the 1xA that is being deployed on 800 now will help with coverage, in building and rural.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH
PTT is a dead technology anyways. And where did the users go? It's not as if anyone else offers a good PTT system.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Nextel wasn't a bad decision for Sprint

In 2005 PTT still had its fans, especially outdoor workers. If Sprint had a way to transition them more quickly...
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Nextel wasn't a bad decision for Sprint

They should get a real radio system. PTT is a joke. Then again, if people are stupid enough to pay for it... It's not like it uses much bandwidth.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Clinton Township, MI

Re: Nextel wasn't a bad decision for Sprint

said by BiggA:

They should get a real radio system. PTT is a joke. Then again, if people are stupid enough to pay for it... It's not like it uses much bandwidth.

QChat, Readylink, Direct Connect or just PTT. Regardless what it was call, people would still find issues with it because the Nextel name was no longer associated with it. My current phone, Motorola Admiral has DC. I know only 2 people who have it and I've used it. It works fine so not sure why people have problems with it. User error? Who knows but my current experiences is based on a standard set when I had a Nextel phone once, the Motorola I355. It still had to connect to a tower, it still had to find the person I was calling. This took time. Now, if I was near the person, I could use the walkie talkie feature but would kill the battery way faster. Once my phone found said person, it was a second or two delay to re-connect. The two people I know that have DC use Kyocera's DuraXT's. I don't see much if any delay once I establish the first contact.
steven s
Premium
join:2002-09-14
Dearborn, MI

How are they not bleeding customers?

Yes, Sprint is losing customers, but I really don't understand how they aren't losing their post-paid customers in droves.

Their LTE network is practically nonexistent and their new phones don't have Wimax antennas, so most users don't have access to 4G speeds, and their 3G network is unbearably slow. Yet their plans are either as expensive or more expensive than plans with AT&T or Verizon. How useful is unlimited data when you can't really use it?

I wonder if new Virgin and Boost Mobile subscribers are simply compensating for lost Sprint and Nextel subscribers.

grapkoski
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Washington, DC

1 recommendation

Re: How are they not bleeding customers?

As a current post-paid customer, it comes down to price and value. No other carrier (sans maybe T-Mo) can match Sprint. As the most techie of the group (using 3~4 gb of data a month), I suffer the most but put up with it during the dark age. Network Vision is taking hold in my region and the network is on par with VZ. Also, their customer service is amazing - yep, I said that.
Body Count

join:2010-09-11
Columbus, OH

Nextel is shutting down

Nextel is shutting down so that's why they are losing so many customers. We were told Nextel end of life is June. Basically all our Nextel phones will not work past June so we either switch those people to other phones or they don't use a phone.

So this stat is very misleading. Yes Nextel is losing customers. Most of those customers are being forced off the network. The case with us is we are moving the people who use Nextel and buying them Sprint phones. So Sprint is gaining people.

grapkoski
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Washington, DC

Re: Nextel is shutting down

Well those that stick around - some former Nextel customers go elsewhere. Alas.