Did Sprint’s decision to hire the guy from Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” ad campaign for its new commercials pay off? The company just released its latest financial numbers, and even with its highest post-paid subscriber bump in 9 years, it was still hit with a $302 million loss.
Other than the loss, it’s mostly been good news for Sprint. This past quarter, it saw 173,000 post-paid customers enter the fold. It’s the fourth consecutive quarter in which Sprint has seen growth. Churn, or the rate at which people move to Sprint and then switch to a different carrier, is just at 1.39 percent, the lowest in the company’s history. Sprint also had an operating revenue of $8 billion with a total liquidity position of nearly $11 billion.
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“We had another quarter of solid progress in our turnaround with the highest first quarter postpaid phone net additions in nine years, the lowest postpaid phone churn in company history, and finally being postpaid net port positive against all three national carriers after five years,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure stated in a press release. “We also grew wireless net operating revenue year-over-year while aggressively reducing the cash operating expenses of the business and our network is performing better than ever.”
Sprint’s increased mindshare has a lot to do with how the company has approached customers. Much like T-Mobile’s John Legere, Claure has been more forward and direct, addressing pain points customers have had for years. It turns out listening to your customers makes them want to stay.
Sprint has also been increasingly aggressive in trying to court customers with better deals and rates. It even started to compete with T-Mobile in pricing. But most importantly of all, Sprint worked on reliability by focusing on building up access to LTE.
Back in 2007, Sprint put all its chips on WiMax internet and invested in ClearWire. It wasn’t the best investment, because WiMax was expensive and just not as reliable. In the meantime, 4G and LTE grew in speed and reliability. Last year, Sprint shuttered all its WiMax towers and invested heavily in providing LTE to its customers.