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Sprint Goes Low

3:35 PM -- Following on from my blog about the seemingly unshakable position of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless at the top of the U.S. cellular food chain (some of you disagree this is the case), I think it is worth asking what Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s numbers today might mean for the company. (See The Mobile Duopoly .)

Sprint saw its overall subscribers decline but got a boost from pay-as-you-go subs on its iDEN network. The operator says customers are choosing to buy into its $50 a month Boost Unlimited offering, which doesn't tie them into a two-year contract, because of the poor economy.

Which raises the question: Should Sprint try to go deeper into this area and possibly take customers from Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS)?

It is always something of a risky strategy: Wall Street prefers monthly subscribers to pay-as-you-go customers; and a carrier generally makes more money off the contract customers.

Still, in a downbeat economy that seems as if it will bump along the bottom for months to come, maybe a little low-cost action isn't the worst approach that Sprint could take right now if it wants to bring its user numbers up.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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