​Sprint fends off T-Mobile for No. 3 spot; Eyes Hispanic market growth

Sprint ends the first quarter 57.14 million total subscribers to narrowly hang on to the No. 3 carrier title in the U.S.

Sprint added 1.2 million net connections on its core service in the first quarter and 211,000 postpaid subscribers to hang on to the No. 3 spot in the U.S. wireless carrier race.

When T-Mobile reported its first quarter results, it appeared to be the new No. 3 based on expectations for Sprint.

However, Sprint ended the first quarter with 57.14 million total wireless connections. Of that sum, 56.14 million were on the Sprint brand.

T-Mobile ended the first quarter with 56.84 million total customers. Also see: T-Mobile adds 1.8 million customers in Q1, becomes threat to wireless giants

Statistically speaking, you could call the T-Mobile and Sprint race a tie. That said you can see why there are off-and-on chatter about merging T-Mobile and Sprint. The combination of the two carriers would provide more firepower to take on AT&T and Sprint.

Based on Sprint's investor presentation the growth plan going forward is to target the Hispanic market in the U.S.

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As for the financials, Sprint reported operating income of $318 million on revenue of $8.3 million, down 7 percent from a year ago. The net loss for Sprint in the first quarter was $224 million, or 6 cents a share.

Sprint said it has been working to improve customer service and its network. The company's postpaid churn was 1.84 percent.

Here's a look at the subscriber breakdown for Sprint.

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