Sprint Moto X

Carrier expected to continue losing subscribers in the near future

Japanese carrier SoftBank's strategic investment in Sprint may have closed over two months ago, but CEO of SoftBank Masayoshi Son is tempering the excitement with statements given today. Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Son drew on his wisdom in previous acquisitions to give a more realistic roadmap of how quickly he expects to get Sprint heading in a positive direction:

"It took around a year after SoftBank bought Vodafone (before) we reached the No. 1 position of net gains in subscribers. It takes time to get devices ready and prepare services and the network .. At the very least you need half a year or a year. And for anything substantial you need one or two years."

It's no secret that Sprint is in need of something closer to the "substantial" end of that spectrum, leading us to think we may be as many as two years away from SoftBank's influence being felt here in the US.

Sprint has been losing customers at a pretty consistent rate for years now, and expectations of future losses are being increased based on recent performance. Although the carrier may be making big moves in acquiring Clearwire and taking a large investment — totaling 80 percent of the company — from SoftBank, it may take longer than many want to wait to turn things around.

Son seems ready to weather the storm and is confident that a turnaround is possible if given a little bit of time to work things out. But that doesn't always go over well with investors, who seem split over which strategy will be most profitable both short and long term. For now, Sprint is still the third-largest carrier in the US and has millions of customers that are hoping it can turn things around.

Source: Reuters


Reader comments

SoftBank's Masayoshi Son warns Sprint turnaround could take longer than expected


I have faith. And their LTE is decent in my area so I can afford to be patient.

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Yep, it's all about how the network performs in the areas you need to use it. No complaints here as LTE is filling in nicely in Indiana.

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I've been with Sprint for a while and all I get is 3G if not 1x or most commonly No network!!!

In crowded southern CA there's just no excuse, so looks like I'll be going to Verizon.

They'll keep me as a customer if I can get a Tri-band LTE Nexus 5 here in the next month or so. It'd be even better if it was available directly from Google Play with no contract.

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I have 4 lines on Sprint. They have until I have 1 line on contract to better T-Mobile's price, or I'll pay that one's early out and move over. I can save almost $100 a month on 4 lines with T-mo if I buy used phones vs. new ones, when you lump in my corporate discount. That's enough to make me seriously consider jumping off of Sprint. You've been warned Sprint: You're no longer the best deal in town and you have until next summer to wow me.

I have been with Sprint for 4 years, and I have seen their network degrade over the last 4 years. However their NV gives me some semblance of hope. Last night I was using it, and I was easily pulling down 15-25 MB. So I see some light at the end of this tunnel

here are my speeds -

Sprint G-Nex

4G LTE = Down 5.77, Up 5.82, Ping 63
3G = Down 1.42, Up 1.04, Ping 67
WIFI/Cable = Down 3.51, Up .96, Ping 23

It may be your area is not fully deployed yet. As more and more towers get upgraded and go online, speeds increase, coverage improved and overall service gets much better. Just because you have LTE doesn't mean Sprint is done working in your area.

Here are my recent top speeds on Verizon:

4G LTE = 16.21 down / 11.39 up

Here are my recent top speeds on Sprint:

4G LTE = 32.49 down / 13.88 up

Those aren't bad speeds though. I can get 20/6 around my neck of woods so I can't complain.

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Agreed, but as you mentioned, things have been improving quite a bit. I travel a lot for work and the network is performing excellent in upgraded markets, and that's with just partial deployment as most markets are less than 50% covered. It will take some time as Sprint is doing a full rebuild of their network from the ground up, not just adding LTE as the other carriers. They are gutting everything at the cell site and going to state of the art network equipment. There are many videos online that explain the magnitude of Sprint's Network Vision project and IMO the their current progress is impressive based on the scope of work. Sprint has great coverage, they just need to finish upgrading the data network which should be complete sometime next year. Additionally, they will be adding a ton of capacity and speed with the Clearwire spectrum.

I have both Verizon and Sprint and I am quite happy with Sprint and unlimited data as I get to use my work phone to stream music and other data heavy apps I could never do on my Verizon phone without blowing my data limit.

Considering the speed at which they are deploying LTE & the speed of that LTE along with the new options of guaranteed unlimited data for the life of your account, seems pretty nuts to me to be with anyone else

I'm willing to wait. I have a good feeling about the future of sprint. I couldn't pay my bill for almost three months and they really helped me out by maintaining my service. They deserve my loyalty.

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I agree with your statement. Lately I've been struggling financially and they have really come through working with me on my bill, paying it down in increments. (I've heard horror stories about other services not being so lenient.) In the 12 years I've been with them, sure the network has been a bit of a let down, but nothing drastically compared with other cell companies until the last couple of years. Yes Verizon/Att/T-Failure have better speeds often, however their idiosyncrasies overpower these benefits...as of now. I'm not a blind consumer, I know Sprint has their work cut out for them, but I am prepared to allow at least another year or so go by before I consider jumping ship to deal with a whole other set of issues in another cell company, taking in consideration they JUST made a huge deal with the investment company.

Lets see how it all pans out. Sprint is due for a major comeback, and if not...I have a feeling that it will all come together in some sort of major car wreck of technology that will allow better competition to shine through. The ones who really try and reach out to their customers will be the true winners, regardless of that extra "mbps"...

Eeeks...I think I just bit my tongue a little...

Been with sprint for over 10 years now. Things have never been worse than they are now but Im going to hold out for the Nexus 5. If they skip the Nexus 5 or even delay its release like they have with the G2 then Im done and switching to anything else regardless if I end up paying more.

I left sprint for tmobile almost 2 years ago after being with them for 10 years. Best decision I ever made. Bill is much less and service is 100x better. I had a dial up connection with sprint here in NYC but with tmobile I am hitting over 20mbps.

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I have sprint currently and overall the coverage (Data speeds wise has improved) seems like I'm getting LTE or fast 3G everywhere I travel now.

It's going to take time for Sprint to be a great nationwide carrier but with them now deploying the clearwire spectrum nationwide, LTE 800 and Triband phones coming out next year they are on the right path to success. Plus sprint is participating in the 600mhz and 1900 H block auction so their spectrum holdings will continue to go up.

I see great things for sprint in 2015 and onward.

What a terrible company, I hope it dies a painful death. After moving to a roaming area due to its shitastic network, it let me out of my contract and I had to return my EVO LTEs. Thing is, Sprint failed to send the return kits on time, I sent the phones back nearly 3 weeks ago after having to shout it into submission to send the kits, which still haven't finished processing by the way, and Sprint claims I owe a $700 ETF due last weekend which I refuse to pay since I did my part. The fuckers.

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I'm dipping out to go to T-mobile this winter. After that whole situation in July about the changes to the T&C where Sprint screwed us Wi-Max users over, I'm pretty fed up. Done with these subpar 3G and Wi-Max speeds I'm getting in Baltimore. Pretty disappointed in Sprint as a whole. In December, I am eligible for an upgrade, but I'm gonna go ahead and pay my $170ish ETF and leave.

Why are you still useing a wimax phone when sprint LTE speeds are much much Faster. wimax is old and will be turned off in 2015.

i've only been on Sprint since spring of 2012. I got the Epic 4G touch (GS2) right before the GS3 came out. Its a Wi-Max phone, and had Sprint came out sooner and said that they were going to begin moving away from Wi-Max, I would've never gotten it.

Dude, that's on you, don't blame Sprint! Their Network Vision plans for LTE were well underway and it was well known WiMax was on its way out in the Spring of 2012. Don't blame Sprint just because you didn't do your homework!

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If Sprint would have done their job and explained the network vision to him, he would have known. Sprint is all about sales and keeping you locked into a contract. Horrible customer service!

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Wow, really? There is no hope in the future!

It's also his employers fault because he selected the wrong health care plan. It's the restaurants fault because he ordered the wrong item off the menu. It's his teachers fault because he didn't do his homework and failed tests.


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I'm good to go with sprint in my area.

4G LTE pulling 35 Mbps dn and 10 Mbps up
3G 2.41 Mbps dn and .88 Mbps up

All on the LG Optimus G

Now I'm looking forward to the G2 and putting to the test the Tri Band radio. 4G LTE 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2600 MHz, very soon to come to my area.


Not sure where you get your info but, there is no 900mhz and t-mobile uses the 850 mhz. sprint is useing these bands of LTE: 800MHz 1900MHz 2500MHz.

+1. I was wondering what he was referring to when he mentioned the "900 MHz".

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I'm giving them till end of year. If nothing has improved I will add my line to my wife's T-Mobile line that I just ported over. I hope they improve but I'm loving the speed on my T-Mobile hspa+.

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NOt true. verzion will be going thru a network rebuild to which will take up to 3 years. sprint has 38,000 towers to upgrade nationwide. IT takes time. for the Dish thing you dont want that. with dish there would be no more SPrint and, sprint would become dish mobile with DATA CAPS.

The absolute last thing that a Sprint user wants is Dish to get involved at all.

It would have been a disaster.

They need to marry up with Tmo.

I was in Phoenix over the weekend, and LTE is amazing throughout the city and suburbs!!! :-)

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All these people obsessed with the network, Verizon treats people the worst, makes you pay the most, gives you no discounts or incentives, has some of the worst support, but sure, the network the network the network.

No thanks, I'll stick to Sprint and T-Mobile for my choices.

Same here, I switched to T-Mobile at the end of April, LTE is great, and when I don't have LTE, T-Mobile's 4G is still better than Vzn's EVDO when there isn't an LTE signal.

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Lol. Tons of employer discounts. Their customer service is by far the best. I've dealt with all the companies for over 12 years. Sprint's customer service is the worst. However, since Dan Hesse came in board it has improved. But sprint is still trying to charge me an ETF for a phone I bought at full retail price.

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You are one of the only people I know of to love Verizon's cs. Everyone I know that has it says they are the worst. Don't really try to help and one person I know was told that she complained too much and was given 30 days to switch her service to another provider. Network might be fabulous but I don't want to treated as an expendable customer.

I've been with sprint over 10 years and there data plans are OK, But some of the customer care agents are very rude and they don't speak good english and there coverage was excellent and now it's gone to hell in a hand basket. I've heard enough of the lies telling you we've got a technician on it and give it 48 hours. I called tech support and they told me they don't trouble shoot phones anymore, but they would be glad to take a payment from me. Smdh! What that dumb a** didn't bother to do was look at my account. It was paid up for 2 months. I hope that Softbank will weed out the lazy agents and start making progress on get the company back on track.


And yet you continue, and continue, and continue to stay with Sprint?. . .To be continued. . .5yrs from now. . .still unhappy!

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Longer than the SEVEN years it's already taken? Lol! Then they'll continue to bleed customers.

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They'll continue to bleed customers until there are no customers left to bleed.Sprint is on the same path that Blackberry is on. I normally do not want a company to fail, but because of the way that I was treated as a customer, Sprint can die a slow painful death.

Sprint's network is horrible. Even where there is LTE if you go inside a building it switches to 3G and then your phone is pretty much useless. Topped out 55.08 Mbps on Verizon.. Never going back

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Verizon is overpriced and useless in midtown NYC. They are completely tapped out here, your lucky if you get over 3mbs sec in midtown and there customer service is a joke. Its been a tough going for sprint last year and early 2013, But im finally getting LTE almost everywhere I go, and triband network will hopefully keep those speeds nice and stable. Sprint FTW!

Sprint has been coming along. I have been so close to switching many times, but I see the improvements. I live in Atlanta and I just hit 19.68 Mbps. When I travel I am always pleased to see that LTE has popped up or improved 3G speeds. I look forward too see the improvements. And as far as sprints customer service... I have always been pleased. I feel like sprint makes a great effort to try and retain customers.

all i know is their 3G speeds improved greatly at the end of last year and then i got 4G LTE a few months ago and i'm loving it!

That would be fantastic if they were three companies that truly competed against each other instead of today's duopoly.

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There are definitely better choices than Verizon for many people, yet Sprint is still not one of them. First of all you have prepay with straight talk now that you can get the lte sim card from at&t and now that they've said they throttle after 2.5gb people have an idea of what they get. Most people never hit 3gigs. Then you have tonite prepay but T-Mobile direct plans give you free hotspot. Luckily I'm my town T-Mobile rocks. My wife inside and outside never gets under 5mbps. On my Sprint phone when with lte it won't go over 8mbps. I can't wait till December till my etf is low enough to pay and leave. Plus T-Mobile is willing to give me another $200 credit which makes up for the etf. Can't wait.

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This $200 credit, how did you obtain this offer? I received a $50 credit by mail, however after one year my ETF with Sprint I'm assuming is $175

I've been with sprint for almost 13 yrs and I'm done giving them another chance. I've stood by them as a loyal customer for too long and all I get is drop calls and crappy LTE service in many Houston areas. I think is it great for those of you that get great speeds but not all of us are that lucky. I can't wait for the Nexus 5 to come out so I can pay my ETF and move on. I brought many friends and family members from other carries to Sprint, by next summer everyone I know on Sprint will be in the process of moving to another carrier.

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I moved my line from Sprint in December 2011 and happily paid the ETF. I grew tired of apologizing for their coverage and service. Also gre tired of the premium data add on fee each month, yet only using WiMax while outdoors. That left me with 3 Sprint lines for the family.

In August 2013, I moved a second line away from Sprint as this line is going away for school nect year, needed a new phone and I wanted them to have reliable coverage.

Many people diss ATT and Verizon prices and policy. But, at least for the "premiuum" price we pay, you are getting a much better network. Unlimited data is only as good as the service behind it. I'm in NW Houston. There is a Corporate Store within waalking distance of my home. Coverage SUCKS in the store. I can't see how they are selling 4G devices in that store. There are 2 cell towers nearby and both have "scheduled" Network Vision Upgrades. I have been told this the last 6 months.

I'm rooting for Sprint to be a great carrier and compete with ATT and Verizon on coverage, but I'm not paying a premium data add fee while they get their act together. And they have until October 2014 to do so when they remaining 2 lines contracts are up.

I'm currently a Sprint customer and I've been on the fence about leave for a while. While I'm in a pretty good area that has had LTE service for a while now (and have seen even more imporvments over the past few months).

The major problem facing Sprint's service is data speeds and building penetration. Sprint would be wise to get that iDen spectrum repurposed as soon as possible.

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I just renewed my contract with Verizon but their plan prices are getting out of hand. Hopefully I won't start coming closer to going over my grandfathered 4 GB for $30 data cap, until it's also closer to the end of my contract. If Sprint has made some improvements by then I'd probably jump ship pretty quick.

I'm in a supposed "best" LTE area and I barely get signal, roaming quite often. I don't think my phone has switched to LTE once in this area. I'm getting a whopping 0.44mbps down and 0.11 up. Horrible.

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I have been with sprint since I was 16. 15 years of up and coming phones and 3g boosts and dealing with WImax. When it was time to resign my contract... I was thinking of leaving. But something told me to give sprint two more years. I signed, got my HTC One, and I've been impressed with the LTE I get around New Orleans. Let's hope by the end of this contract the LTE is even better than it is now.

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