History isn’t going to judge Dan Hesse’s tenure kindly, but many of the problems Hesse faced weren’t of his own making. And instead of fixing Sprint’s cultural flaws when he took over, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son only reinforced them.
Though Sprint’s new friends and family plan gained nearly 3 million subscribers, it posted net losses of nearly 400,000 subscribers in Q1. Framily may be Sprint’s future, but it’s not yet having the impact it wants.
Sprint has been promising a monster of a 4G network for years, but it’s failed to deliver. CEO Dan Hesse says that Sprint still maintains its mobile broadband ambitions, it’s just taking longer to realize them.
This summer had a lot of milestones for Sprint, some good, some bad. It closed its deals with SoftBank and Clearwire, and began a massive network transformation, but it also lost a lot of customers in process.
The south gets special attention in this round as New Orleans, Miami and Tampa all join Sprint’s LTE footprint. This expansion is the first phase of a big 120-city rollout this summer.
Sprint plans to shutter its old Nextel iDEN systems for good next summer, but before it can do so it needs to migrate millions of customers still using the network. In January, Sprint will start charing a $10 monthly fee to Nextel iDEN customers.
Sprint doesn’t plan to dump WiMAX entirely after it takes its LTE live this summer. Instead, it plans to reposition the older 4G technology as the network for its prepaid customers. Sprint will begin selling WiMAX devices next quarter under the Boost and Virgin brands.
For the first time in six years, Sprint’s aging Nextel and wireline businesses didn’t overwhelm all positive gains from its primary CDMA business in its quarterly results. Still, Sprint is anxious to shed the Nextel albatross and Wednesday detailed its plans to shut down iDEN.
Sprint will launch LTE in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and six other smaller markets by mid-2011, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse revealed Thursday. He also went into more detail about how it planned to grow its initial low-bandwidth LTE network into a big fat one.