Ten Reasons to Love Sprint

Did you feel like someone left a cake out in the rain at Overland Park yesterday after Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s fairly dismal first-quarter results? Well, buck up, Sparky, because Unstrung's got 10 -- count 'em -- 10 reasons for you to learn to love America's third-ranked cellular operator once again.

1. Clearwire and 4G
Yeah, we went for the obvious one first, but hey, barring any major screw-ups, the Sprint-backed Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) venture will be the first to offer 4G-like services in the U.S. Both companies have said they'll have initial markets up and running in late 2008, beating a planned Verizon Wireless long-term evolution (LTE) rollout by a year. (See Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt.)

So, what will 4G mean in the U.S.? For users, it probably just means faster wireless data connections on their notebook computers in 2009. For Sprint, however, it might help boost data revenue even further.

2. Higher data revenues
Speaking of which -- data is one element of Sprint's balance sheet that is not only surviving but thriving. According to a research note from Lehman Brothers analyst Inder Singh, Sprint's data revenues grew 19 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared with a year ago, despite the declining subscriber base. Data services from monthly contracts contributed about $11.50 to average revenue per user (ARPU). On a per-user basis, data ARPU grew 60 percent from the same period last year.

Sprint needs this trend to continue, since the smart money suggests that data -- not voice -- will increasingly boost an operator's bottom line.

3. Not all customers are jumping ship
Check the numbers, Jack. Sprint added 343,000 Boost Unlimited and 183,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers in the first quarter, even as it lost more than 1 million monthly subscribers. Yeah, Wall Street doesn't see the Boost crowd as high-value customers, but hey, a dollar is a dollar right? (See Sprint Bleeds Cellular Customers.)

4. A spiffed-up device portfolio
Sprint is readying the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) Instinct for launch, a touch-screen phone that the operator is making no bones about marketing as an iPhone rival.

5. A vast, untapped resource
Sprint CTO Barry West always talked about how Sprint's near-nationwide 2.5 GHz spectrum footprint was undervalued, and he had a point. That resource is now valued at something in the region of $7 billion and will be part of the new Clearwire, which Sprint has a 51 percent stake in. Still, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon paid more for less spectrum and they didn't get spanked by the stock markets. (See AT&T & Verizon to Use 700 MHz for 4G .) 6. Hands-on Hesse
Maybe it's just us, but doesn't new CEO Dan Hesse seem to be a little bit more involved in Sprint than some of his predecessors? (See Embarq CEO Resigns to Run Sprint.) 7. Less annoying advertising
Case in point, Hesse talking about Sprint is far less aggravating than yet another round of "Can you hear me now?" spots from Verizon, or that commercial where "Chad" from Alltel Corp. (NYSE: AT) is hanging out with the wizard and his family. Is Alltel trying to target the D&D demographic with that one?

8. Everybody roots for the underdog
Think of Sprint as the Jamiacan bobsled team of the U.S. cellular market. See? You like them better already...

9. Sponsors NASCAR
That's cool, right?

10. In the air tonight
Sprint's employees are carbon-based life forms that breathe oxygen, thus helping to maintain the flora and fauna of Overland Park, Kan., and other parts of the U.S.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

lrmobile_kumaramitabh 12/5/2012 | 3:40:57 PM
re: Ten Reasons to Love Sprint 1.Sprint has steadfastedly stuck with the planned introduction of technology through thick and thin.
Sprint is no doubt banking on the strength of Mobile WiMAX technology as comapred to any of the present day dwarfs.

When there is talk of WiMAX, most people visualize the performance as benchmarked to Fixed WiMAX.There are too many differences in the Mobile WiMAX technology, which has improved on the shortcomings of Fixed WiMAX that few are now deploying it if the mobile WiMAX option is available. It is true that there have been delays in getting the certified devices, but that phase is over now.
Mobile WiMAX permits mobile or fixed devices to transmit only the required number of subcarriers thereby extending the range, has multiple antenna support and mulicast/ broadcast services(MBS). The MBS services alone can make it a killer technology.

2.Second, we love it for getting Google onboard, which again, by far leads open applications in the internet space. And thhese are not limited to search engines but YouTube, Location based services and its open architecture Andriod platform.The presence of Google signifies a range of applications developed around the Google portal, mobile and desktop as well as Google Talk, Android phones, Google maps and Google earth to be available in an integrated manner without the limitations of the traditional internet.
3. Third, we love them for getting the WiMAX ecosystem in place faster than would have otherwise been the case. With Intel, Samsung , Motorola etc. deeply involved they are setting up the WiMAX scene for a big bang.

4. Fourth, we believe that finally resigning up with Clearwire strengthens the ecosystem even though they are at present more focused on fixed WiMax and wireless. The combine will be able to address all markets in the US in a seamless manner. More, the model can extend, and will extend worldwide.
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