Sprint paid a visit to Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications on Monday to unveil a slew of announcements around its network and services, as well as to offer a money-back guarantee for any customers not delighted with its new network.
In a 30-minute presentation, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) managed to unveil:
28 additional LTE markets, bringing its total to 471 cities;
three additional Spark markets: St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.
nationwide availability of HD voice;
international WiFi calling coming soon;
the exclusive Samsung Corp. S 5 Sport with a heart rate monitor, S Health apps, a Sprint Fit Live app, and MapMyRun through a partnership with parent company Under Armour. Sprint also said it would offer one year of premium MapMyRun services to those customers that purchase the phone;
Sprint Framily Wall, a private and secure social media space for customers on a shared data plan to connect;
A 30-day money-back guarantee if customers aren't satisfied with the network experience. Unlike T-Mobile US Inc. 's seven-day offer that lets customers stay with their current carrier, Sprint is offering its 30-day promo to new customers, so if they do decide they're unhappy after 30 days, they'll be left without a carrier -- but at least not be beholden to Sprint.
"HD Voice is now available across Sprint's network footprint. While the service should provide better voice quality, we do not expect it to set Sprint apart from its peers. T-Mobile already offers HD voice and AT&T and Verizon will offer it with their VoLTE service," the analysts wrote. "The new Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport, which Sprint has exclusively, appears to be a neat device with fitness integration from Under Armour, but we don't see it driving material share gains."
The analysts concluded that they believe Sprint will continue to struggle to add subscribers, and the carrier won't be able to offer true network differentiation "until 2016 at best, and by then we worry spectrum acquisition and technology advancement will allow the other carriers to at least keep pace."
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