updated 08:43 am EST, Tue February 11, 2014
Sprint claims 53.9M subscribers, 5.6M smartphone sales
Sprint's latest quarterly results show it has suffered a loss of $1.04 billion, an improvement on last year's $1.32 billion loss, under its second quarter of ownership by SoftBank. Revenue from the carrier enjoyed a year-on-year increase from $9 billion to $9.14 billion in the fourth quarter, also up from its third-quarter results, giving it a full-year revenue of $35.5 billion.
Despite the loss, Sprint still managed to achieve its highest ever subscriber count of 53.9 million, by adding 58,000 postpaid subscribers, 322,000 prepaid, and 302,000 wholesale subscribers in the quarter. Smartphone sales reached 5.6 million in the quarter and 20.5 million for the entirety of 2013, though it declined to break down by manufacturer. Smartphones made up 95 percent of postpaid sales, with prepaid customers opting for smartphones in 66 percent of sales.
Sprint claims that more than 200 million people are covered by the company's 4G LTE service. Even so, it hopes to expand the LTE coverage to more than 250 million people by mid-2014, and to complete the modernization of its 3G service at the same time. Sprint Spark, its enhanced LTE service that can offer speeds of up to 60Mbps, went live today in Philadelphia and Baltimore, bringing the total of markets covered by the service to 14. Sprint plans to expand the service to cover a total of 100 million people by the end of this year.