Sprint recently shut down its Nextel network, its Network Vision project, and withdrew its investment in Clearwire. Because of these massive changes, Sprint reported a loss of $1.37 billion (46 cents a share) on revenue of nearly 9 billion. This is significantly higher than ten months ago when it reported a loss of $863 million for the same quarter.
This quarter, 26 cents were lost because of Network Vision, 6 cents because of the shutdown of Nextel towers, and 7 cents were related to its investment in Clearwire, which will no longer be providing 4G WiMax services to Sprint.
Analysts believe this isn’t the end of Sprint’s slip in the stock market, and predict that this year will show an $8.73 billion loss (another 70 cents a share). It is likely that Sprint will report a few more quarters of significant losses because of the transformation of the network. However, it will eventually support more technologies than it does now, including an incredibly quick 4G LTE Network. Still, the Nextel shutdown and iPhone subsidies will continue to weigh down on the company until the middle of next year, at the earliest.
Sprint remains in third for most popular wireless carrier, but it is unfortunately a very distant third. While AT&T moves to “subscription family plans” and tiered limited data, Sprint refuses to follow suit and still offers unlimited data and services such as mobile Web and streaming video. They hope this move will bring more business to them.
Sprint sold some 1.5 million iPhones last quarter. Even though this is significantly less than both Verizon and AT&T, 40% of the new iPhone customers were new to the carrier, and most had left AT&T and Verizon. They added 442,000 customers last quarter, but lost 668,000 when they shut down Nextel services. Most of those 680,000 customers were brought back into Sprint before they chose another carrier, however.
Nextel Networks will be completely dismantled and decommissioned by early next year, Sprint says.