Sprint loses out as customers depart - Mobile World Live

Sprint loses out as customers depart

02 AUG 2019

Sprint continued to bleed subscribers and cash in the second quarter, facing unrelenting headwinds ahead of a proposed merger with T-Mobile US.

The operator did not host its usual quarterly earnings call.

However, CEO Michel Combes tried to put a positive spin on the numbers in a statement, calling the results “good…relative to expectations”. He acknowledged, though, the company “still faces several structural headwinds and I remain convinced the merger with T-Mobile is the best outcome for our customers, employees, industry and all stakeholders.”

The operator posted a net loss of $111 million in its fiscal Q1 (the three months to 30 June), marking a steep drop from profit of $176 million in the comparable 2018 period. Consolidated revenue of $8.1 billion was flat year-on-year, while wireless service revenue of $5.3 billion fell from $5.5 billion.

Post-paid net additions of data devices (including tablets, wearables and connected cars) were up substantially in the quarter, from 36,000 to 262,000 year on year. However, Sprint lost 128,000 lucrative post-paid phone subscribers, reversing net additions of 87,000 in the 2018 quarter.

The prepaid segment didn’t fare any better, as the company posted a net loss of 169,000 in the quarter versus additions of 3,000.

Sprint soldiered on with network improvements despite the expected tie-up with T-Mobile, spending a total of $1.2 billion in the quarter and nearly doubling the number of massive MIMO radios deployed in its network to 3,000.

Though the Department of Justice finally gave long-awaited approval for the deal with T-Mobile, the much hoped for merger still remains in doubt pending the outcome of a legal challenge from state attorneys general.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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