& cplSiteName &

Sprint Sparks to Reduce Churn, Save Unlimited

Sarah Thomas
3/10/2014
100%
0%

Sprint's No. 1 priority this year is improving its network. It's a matter of keeping both its customers and its unlimited promise, the carrier's CFO said on Monday.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CFO Joe Euteneuer reiterated the remaining steps in its Network Vision upgrade. The No. 3 US operator plans to complete the rip and replace of its 3G network by midyear, at which time it will also have 250 million PoPs covered with LTE. With help from its new owner SoftBank Corp. , it also plans to cover 150 million PoPs with 800 MGhz LTE and 100 million PoPS with its tri-mode Sprint Spark network by the end of 2014. (See Sprint Sparks It in Chicago and Sprint Plans Indoor, Outdoor Small Cells in 2014.)

Sprint needs to close the gap on its competitors in terms of network functionality, but it also needs to stop the customer bleeding. That's why Network Vision is so important, even if it's causing short-term pain. Euteneuer said that churn has gone up at the operator in markets where Network Vision is in the construction phase, but it tends to go down when it nears completion. (See Sprint Feels the Churn Burn Before Spark.)

In the markets where Network Vision is now at 70% construction or more and has been up and running for four months, Sprint has seen an improvement of 20-25 basis points in churn. "The realities are churn was high in the fourth quarter; it's going to remain high in the first quarter," he said. "If we're lucky, you might start seeing it [improve] in the second quarter, because we'll have so many cities down, but it's that balance of how many cities do you have over 70% complete for how long, and then you get the benefit of that reduction in churn."

The carrier, of course, also needs to work on adding more customers, but that's priority No. 3 behind its formidable network challenges. Euteneuer said Sprint would spend extra money in the first quarter to keep the "gross add engine going." (See Sprint Adds 58K Postpaid Subs in Q4.)

"When we look at the full year, we see the positive side of net adds in the later part of the year and suffering what this construction phase is, this portion to complete, as we finish it up through the first half of the year," he said.

Euteneuer also mentioned several times that Sprint has stayed true to offering unlimited data, even as pricing competition has increased, and it's something it wants to continue to protect. Upgrading its network will help it continue to do so from a capacity perspective. Sprint is also managing the network far tighter than it ever has before, including shutting down those "five to 10 people that decide they want to run server farms" pretty quickly. (See Sprint Launches No-Sharing 'Framily' Plans and T-Mobile Leads, Sprint Suffers in Pricing Wars.)

"We run that very, very tightly, and I feel good that unlimited does have some legs and longevity," Euteneuer said. "When you saw the announcement of taking over Clearwire, that gave us a lot more runway than we ever had before."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/11/2014 | 11:09:21 AM
Re: pricing
It's a good marketing tool and is the really the one big advantage Sprint can claim over its competitors, but I wonder if it will start to hurt them financially, if not capacity-wise. They have to balance it against profitability. I bet we'll see them continue to introduce tiers, but always have unlimited as the more expensive choice. I wonder if Sprint employees really push customers away from doing unlimited.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/10/2014 | 6:08:52 PM
Re: pricing
In the current market it might be a safe guess that unlimitied is the way to go. Building that capabiliity to add and service exisiting and new customers is always going to be some sort of gamble, as other networks try different business plans. Sprint, if lucky may just come out where they planned.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 4:11:19 PM
pricing
Good to hear Sprint is holding on to unlimited, even as its competitors repeatedly shake up their pricing strategies, with the latest coming from AT&T over the weekend.

Euteneuer also said Sprint's Framily plans, which include an unlimited option, are doing really well fo it. But, he said it's too soon to see if there's a correlation between Spark markets and Framily uptake.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.