Sprint has just announced that it has managed to gain 675,000 net new subscribers during the second quarter of 2015 (ending in July), but it appears that it was not enough for the wireless carrier to keep its number 3 spot, which close rival T-Mobile has now taken.
The addition of 675,000 net new customers was made possible through a strong showing by Sprint’s wholesale business, allowing the wireless carrier to post growth in its customer base. Also, even though the recent numbers may not be as good as the previous quarter’s (Sprint added 1.2 million customers during the first quarter of this year), it sure is an improvement over last year’s, which saw the carrier sustain customer losses.
Furthermore, gaining new subscribers is an indication that Sprint is still in the game. The carrier has been busy upgrading the quality of its network, at the same time making sure that the pricing of its wireless services are competitive with rival carriers. Sprint has definitely shown improvement in the quality of its voice calls and text messaging, but its data speeds are still playing catch up with other major wireless carriers in the United States.
Operations notwithstanding, Sprint is also dealing with internal changes. Just this week, the carrier named a new chief financial officer (Tarek Robbiati, formerly of FlexiGroup) and chief operating officer (Gunther Ottendorfer, formerly of Telekom Austria Group), and promoted one of its key personnel to chief technology officer (John Saw, former chief network officer of Sprint).
Whether these internal changes have affected Sprint’s second quarter numbers is hard to tell. But the fact remains that the carrier’s growth in customer numbers is certainly not as robust as T-Mobile’s 2.1 million net new customers. Because of this, T-Mobile has effectively snatched away Sprint’s title of the third biggest wireless carrier in the US.
Still, Sprint managed to close the second quarter of 2015 with 57.7 million customers in total, adding 310,000 postpaid customers and returning to phone growth in the months of May and June. And the good news is that the growth trajectory of Sprint’s phone customers appears to have continued in July.
Sprint also lost 12,000 phone customers in the period, but it is not as bad as what industry watchers have predicted. More worrying though is the loss of 366,000 prepaid customers. Sprint attributes the loss to customers that left Assurance, a program by the carrier that offers wireless services to mobile users with low incomes. There is some good news though -- the carrier saw its customer turnover rate decrease from 2.05 percent the previous year to 1.56 percent in the latest quarter.
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