Of the nation’s three largest wireless networks, Sprint is the underdog. The third-largest US wireless carrier has been losing customers consistently over the past several quarters, despite compelling hardware offerings like the Android-powered HTC Hero and Palm Pre. But, things are looking better for Sprint. The carrier’s Q3 2009 financial results highlight the lowest customer defection rate in a long time, and customer service performance has been steadily improving.
The most recent quarter had Sprint losing 801,000 of its most valuable post-paid subscribers to other carriers. That’s a definite improvement, but still left Sprint with losses of $478 million in the quarter, compared to a $326 million loss in the year-ago quarter. Revenues slipped to $8.04 billion, missing Wall Street’s projection of $8.09 billion.
Sprint has been making changes to its customer service policies as part of a company-wide effort to improve the carrier’s image and service quality – issues that Sprint believes has been hurting how customers perceive Sprint as a wireless carrier. But, the change has been slow to catch on with consumers.
No one knows what’s going on with Sprint. But, it’s clear that Sprint’s big-money bet on WiMAX as the mobile broadband technology of choice for the foreseeable future has yet to transform the company into America’s premier data-centric wireless provider. Sprint seemingly can’t keep up with AT&T or Verizon in the wireless voice game, but the mobile broadband market has yet to take on a clear leader. Perhaps choosing LTE would have been a better idea?