Sprint Posts Q4 Loss, Loses 1.3 Million Subscribers
The company lost 1.3 million wireless customers in the quarter, with a total of more than 5 million gone over the last five quarters. Sprint had 49.3 million customers at the end of 2008 compared to 53.8 million at the end of 2007. Fleeing customers pushed wireless revenue down 13% year-over-year to $6.6 billion. Sprint expects fewer subscriber losses in 2009.
The carrier's wireless average revenue per user (ARPU) was stable at $56 as increased data revenue helped offset reduced sales from voice services. The carrier's heavily promoted "Simply Everything" unlimited voice and data plan helped drive gains in data revenue, which now make up 31% of overall revenues on its CDMA network.
Having launched the BlackBerry Curve in the fourth quarter, Sprint plans to follow up this year with the much-anticipated Palm Pre smartphone and the Motorola Stature i9. According to Silicon Alley Insider, the carrier is also working on an Android-based phone with Google.