Sprint’s Q3 financial results show lower subscriber defections, higher losses

Sprint-LogoOf 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?

Sprint’s press release

  • INsano

    LTE would have been what others are doing, and would have been the safe play.

    I admire Sprint for being an underdog but not copping to the big dogs of the industry. I’m sure when Verizon and AT&T start hocking LTE, it won’t be anywhere near the price of what you can get Clear/WiMax for.

    If nothing else, Sprint’s current situation speaks volumes to the damage that even a few years of bad customer policies and service can do to a company. In the midst of the biggest recession in the last 80 years, they have the cheapest, most reliable data network and are still losing customers.

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