Sprint re­ally wants a deal

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ONLINE EXTRA -

Sprint ex­ec­u­tives are prac­ti­cally beg­ging for some kind of deal.

The un­prof­itable wire­less car­rier, the fourth­largest in the U.S., says it can “sus­tain it­self” with­out com­bin­ing with an­other tele­com com­pany — but it would do bet­ter with a part­ner.

Sprint has been cut­ting costs and ad­ding the high-value sub­scribers who are billed for ser­vice monthly, in­stead of pay­ing up front.

An­a­lysts see trou­ble ahead, though, be­cause of con­cerns it hasn’t been in­vest­ing enough in its net­work. If Sprint’s ser­vice is even­tu­ally con­sid­ered worse be­cause of that, it’ll have a hard time keep­ing cus­tomers, es­pe­cially as ri­vals have com­pa­ra­ble plans.

Join­ing with fast-grow­ing T-Mo­bile, as long pre­dicted, would mean cost sav­ings and, with less com­pe­ti­tion, per­haps less of a need for ag­gres­sive pro­mo­tions that hurt prof­its. Do­ing a ca­ble-com­pany deal would make it eas­ier for Sprint to roll out the net­work up­grade ex­pected in the next few years from all ma­jor wire­less car­ri­ers. “5G” is sup­posed to mean faster speeds for wire­less users. A phone-and-ca­ble com­pany could also pro­mote video and wire­less ser­vice pack­ages. AT&T, the owner of DirecTV, says that bundling is help­ing it hang on to cus­tomers.

Source: the com­pany Tali Ar­bel; J. Paschke • AP

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