Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

Summary: Now it appears that Sprint may be over the hump. The company cited strong demand for the 4G HTC Evo and the Blackberry Curve.

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For the first time in three years, Sprint is showing net subscriber growth.

Sprint's second quarter showed a gain of 111,000 net subscribers. The company added 136,000 customers on its CDMA network and 285,000 for the Sprint brand overall. Meanwhile, Sprint delivered churn of 1.85 percent, its best tally ever.

In recent quarters, Sprint has been a story about improving subscriber losses, but no net gains. Sprint's postpaid gross subscriber adds were up 46 percent from a year ago, the largest jump since 2001.

Now it appears that Sprint may be over the hump. The company cited strong demand for the 4G HTC Evo and the Blackberry Curve. To put Sprint's subscriber gains in context consider recent trends:

  • In the first quarter, Sprint lost 75,000 net subscribers.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2009, Sprint lost 69,000 net subscribers.
  • In the third quarter of 2009, Sprint lost 135,000 net subscribers.
  • In the second quarter of 2009, Sprint lost 257,000 net subscribers.
  • In the first quarter of 2009, Sprint lost a net 182,000 net subscribers.
  • In 2008, Sprint lost 4.58 million subscribers.

Through all of those rough quarters, Sprint dropped postpaid customers and largely added prepaid ones to partially offset the losses. Meanwhile, every quarterly earnings call from CEO Dan Hesse sounded roughly the same. Sprint was improving customer service and showing improving subscriber trends. After multiple quarters, Hesse finally has some subscriber gains to highlight.

This traction in the market place---Sprint also reported a bevy of customer service improvements---isn't exactly filtering to the bottom line. Sprint reported a net loss of $760 million, or 25 cents a share, on revenue of $8 billion. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 19 cents a share. Sprint had a 10 cents a share charge for deferred tax assets for a pro forma loss of 15 cents a share in the second quarter.

By the numbers:

  • Sprint had 48.2 million customers in the second quarter, a sum that includes 33.2 million postpaid subscribers.
  • The company added 173,000 prepaid subscribers.
  • 9 percent of postpaid customers upgraded their phones in the second quarter.
  • Churn of 1.85 percent was better than the 2.05 percent reported in the second quarter a year ago and 2.15 percent in the first quarter. Prepaid churn was 5.61 percent in the second quarter.

As for the outlook, Sprint said in a statement that it expects to continue to add net subscribers for the rest of 2010 and cut postpaid subscriber losses in the second half.

A recent history of Sprint:

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Hardware, HTC, Software, Telcos

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11 comments
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  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    Just think what they could do if you could actually buy the HTC EVO....
    maxnty
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    Don't want it. WiMax is almost as dead as CDMA. What Sprint should do is augment WiMax with TD-LTE in WiMax spectrum and augment FD-LTE in CDMA spectrum and merge with TMobile. That way, combined spectrum assets will allow the merged company to run HSPA+, CDMA, and FD/TD-LTE across the whole wireless band, thereby allowing it to run every kind of device the consumer has access to. That, along with a combined subscriber bae of about 80 million would put it in the same league if not better with VZW and AT&T.
    podstolom
    • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

      @podstolom I was talking with somebody last week in the industry that was saying there is a serious move toward a TMobile/Sprint merger/buyout.
      non-biased
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    I don't mean to sound like a troll but in this case there IS a sucker born every minute... Sprint is charging an additional $10/m for the EVO's "premium" data plan on top of the fee for the "regular" data plan - supposedly for the 4G network but from what I understand this fee applies to those areas which do not have 4G service as of yet.

    The device itself looks killer and almost makes me want to go back to Sprint - or did until I heard about this additional fee.
    athynz
    • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

      @athynz
      even with the $10 premium their overall plan is still cheaper than at&t and verizon.
      rengek
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    I have the EVO. I'm happy with it. The $10 fee is a non-issue when you realize that with it, it's STILL cheaper to operate than either ATT or Verizon's offerings, and when you get into details (like Verizon's DroidX lets you have 5 users on a hotspot, while the EVO is 8 users, and you have a data cap on the X hotspot and none on the EVO hotspot), you find out that Sprint is a better deal. Now your coverage may be an issue, and that's entirely a personal decision. But we like the EVO so much, we got a second for my wife.

    As for getting them, you just have to try (hit various stores and get on waiting lists) while at the same time being patient. I think they're getting more into Sprint stores now than Radio Shack and Best Buy, and my experience is that the Sprint stores (the corporate ones) are trying harder to have lists and monitor them. You still have to be ready to get it when it shows up, but they do have them coming in. We waited 2 weeks for the second EVO before getting the call. (the first one was overnight)

    The EVO is worth the effort to me.
    big red one
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    Sprint is still in the realm of affordability while Verizon and AT&T are outrageous. Sprint still has the best call quality and the most reliable with unlimited data. You really can't beat that. Verizon wireless is much improved over the years staring from a conglomerate of really bad companies such as GTE and Airtouch but are coming full circle and are repeating their price gouging practices as their parent companies did in the 90's. I sold all of the carriers during the 90's and up until around 2004 and at least in Texas, Sprint was and is still the best. GTE was absolutely horrible along with Airtouch paging with an endless supply of complaints from customers. I had all the carriers as did all the employees and it was obvious who was better. Now Sprint customer service was much worse then vs the present but was still on par with the others. I don't know how some people can even afford the other carriers service plans and what if they all become tiered data, wow! I have an HTC TP2 which is a really good phone with keyboard though I do like the EVO.
    utempire
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    I will also add that Sprints troubles seemed to start a few years ago when their phones weren't as cutting edge as the other carriers. Even before the iphone they were lagging which was surprising because they always had the best phones. I think they have started their turnaround in that area.
    utempire
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    Now they just need to get the Blackberry 9800...so I can upgrade!
    condelirios
  • I'm happy with Sprint

    Pricing is great, even with the extra fee I pay on the Evo. Took me 4 weeks to get but it's nice. I passed my Pre on to my son when the Evo came out. I have to admit, I would trade anything out there for an 'Evo like' phone with WebOS. What the Pre lacked in hardware, it more than made up for in OS.
    Just did a 4 day road trip around the south with my Evo and only had one 15 mile stretch where I didn't have signal. Sprint has come a long way on the network. I didn't have a signal in many more spots in that area when I was with Verizon.
    Not sure I operate the 4G functionality properly but I never noticed a 4G connection in my entire experience. They told me it turns on automatically when it detects 4G so I assume I just never hit a market that has it.
    20kwfence
  • RE: Sprint adds 111,000 net subscribers courtesy of HTC Evo

    Who makes this HTC Evo ?? Since I'm in Thailand, I want to look for it here, in its unblocked original self.
    isuzu803