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Sprint loses 901K subscribers in spring

updated 08:10 am EDT, Wed August 6, 2008

Sprint Q2 2008 Results

Sprint on Wednesday continued a succession of negative quarterly results by reporting that it has lost 901,000 subscribers in the spring quarter, dropping its subscriber base to 51.4 million from 52.8 million in the winter. The losses are less than the one million lost in the winter and are said to be helped by two percent churn, or subscriber turnover; the amount is the lowest the company has experienced since it merged with Nextel in 2004. The company primarily attributes the softer fall to more easily understood plans and also claims to have a better customer mix, with more of its customers spending extra money on service for unlimited data options like the Simply Everything plan.

The company also directly credits the Samsung Instinct as a tool for retaining customers, noting that it attracts "high-value" customers and that it's beginning to push the average revenue from customers higher. The touchscreen phone has already been described as the fastest-selling 3G device ever to launch on Sprint's network and was touted as superior to the iPhone until the introduction of iPhone 3G, which eliminated most of the Instinct's advantages.

Sprint's results also reveal mounting difficulties at the carrier even as it tries to reduce expenses and minimize problems, such as its once-complex billing and its support issues. The provider turned from a $19 million net profit in spring 2007 to a $345 million net loss this year and has taken to unusual steps such as selling its cellular towers to reduce its maintenance costs.

The total subscriber base keeps Sprint in third place but also stands in contrast to first- and second-place US carriers AT&T and Verizon, which added 1.3 million and 1.5 million customers respectively and saw continued increases in net income. AT&T's results are widely expected to improve further in the summer with the iPhone 3G launch, which almost doubled the original iPhone's launch weekend results and has been in heavy demand for considerably longer than its predecessor.

By Electronista Staff


  1. FastAMX79

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2000


    thanks sprint!

    Maybe Sprint should have kept its paws off Nextel. I am still a Nextel customer, and ever since the merger, it has been nothing but problems. WiDen was scrapped, Sprint screwed up Qchat (which Verizon is now about to overtake that market in my opinon) I can no longer change my plan without having to sign a 2 year agreement, games went up 50% in price, ringtones went up 300% since the merger (no big deal since i load my own ringtones and wallpaper - but for others it is horrible!)

    I laugh at Sprint now. Never liked them, never will. Only real reason I keep Nextel is because I've had them for 10 years and I know how the network is, plus I still love voice on iDEN.

    But on the flip side there are no options for me currently where I live. No AT&T coverage, just Sprint and Verizon (my parents have Verizon and I was not impressed with the network)

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    More easily understood

    plans? People like that?!!?!

    Gowaaaan. You're kidding me, right?

    Next thing you tell me will be that people like reasonable rates, too. LOL!


  1. David Esrati

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 1999


    Customer service...

    I tried to keep my Dad's phone on Sprint when I bought my iPhone. They insisted on a 2 year contract- even though he was over halfway through the last one. I tried to tell them their termination fee was less revenue than continuing the plan- they refused. I switched- and then they claimed after the switch that they could have kept the current contract.
    That's why they are hemorrhaging customers.
    They deserve to go under for treating good customers like c***.
    I was happy with Sprint. I just wanted an iPhone.
    Now- I'm gone and won't come back.

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