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Sprint (S) CEO Dan Hesse says he welcomes mobile consolidation in the U.S. ... as long as it...

Sprint (S) CEO Dan Hesse says he welcomes mobile consolidation in the U.S. ... as long as it doesn't involve AT&T and Verizon, whom (like co-workers) he accuses of being duopolists. Hesse also claims once more he has no regrets about committing to $15B worth of iPhone purchases, and boasts Sprint has been able to shut down call centers by offering better customer service. Hesse struck a deal to acquire MetroPCS (PCS) in February, but was shot down by his board.
Comments (12)
  • Hydro9268
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    I'm glad the board shot down the bid to buy MetroPCS. Sprint isn't in any position to buy companies. They need to hunker down and solidify their blueprint to get their company into profitable territory. They need to establish strong internal milestones. Offering Apple products was a huge milestone worth celebrating, since the only other companies offer iPhone services - AT&T and V - are greedy SOBs. Only after Sprint achieves their goals will they be in a better situation to buy or merge with competitors.

     

    My Position: Long on S
    7 Aug 2012, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • tony curti
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Sprint has really changed on a customer service level and in the value offered to customers, across a broad economic spectrum. I'd like to see them gain access to the VOIP market as well, perhaps by striking a deal with MagicJack, for example. Then, they would be integrated across virtually all levels of the telecommunications spectrum and be capable of offering service to populations of people and businesses of any income level. I believe the turn around at S is genuine, and will be born out in a rising stock price over the next 18 months.
    7 Aug 2012, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • david8263
    , contributor
    Comments (15) | Send Message
     
    Before I bought in I actually called their customer service just to get a feel for it myself ... since I initiated a small position I guess they did OK
    8 Aug 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Yokyok
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    Promises promises.
    Hurry up and wait.
    Same old story.
    Different year.

     

    Who's dumb enough to buy an LTE phone that might not work in the city you live in before it's obsolete? Meanwhile you get all you want of the industry's slowest 3g on your state of the art phone. Whoopee.
    7 Aug 2012, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • david8263
    , contributor
    Comments (15) | Send Message
     
    I can see where that argument has merit. Before I bought in I checked coverage in my area Los Angeles ... if you can believe their website ... COVERED ... also, I can remember in the late 90s and early 2000s Nextel was the "caddy" of service in LA ... their reputation here isn't that bad

     

    with Verizon doing away with its unlimited data plan for grandfathered accounts I feel many will go to Sprint if there's coverage in their area ... I, for one, am one of those people
    8 Aug 2012, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Joshua007
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    I agree that it was not a good move financially for sprint, but if you look at metroPCS, they are profitable... and have spectrum. Some of this spectrum is in the PCS band which is where sprint operates, and they could have incorporated the spectrum into their NV program. This could in the near future increase the possibility of being able to launch more LTE in the 1900MHz band. This is because Sprint has some unused spectrum in some markets, but others markets do not have enough spectrum, or are using more for voice/3G... the only problem is that Metro PCS only has PCS spectrum in California, Florida, Dallas-Fort worth, Atlanta, Detroit, and RI/CT... hardly the "big spectrum" reason, maybe it was for subscriber numbers?

     

    Now that is purely speculative, but it is the only logic I can think of for why the deal was attempted. Plus, I think that was right after MetroPCS took a dive in share price (which might have been equally motivating. Looking at where it went from there, I would try to wait for it to drop lower before I would suggest that sprint swoops on it. LEAP actually has more PCS spectrum, although not concentrated in as dense urban areas.

     

    An ideal situation for sprint would be for them to purchase both LEAP and MetroPCS, in a deal and work out spectrum swaps for the unwanted AWS and 700MHz spectrum. As long as the consumers phones are capable of using the PCS band, sprint could push an update that excluded the AWS band from being used. This would avoid the churn like sprint was seeing from the Nextel brand. Customers should see a possible boost to their service, as this will take place after Network Vision tower upgrades are complete and sprint is financially sound.

     

    Sprint could then sell/swap the AWS spectrum with t-mobile or US Cellular. This would be seen as a good deal for the wireless industry because it strengthens the 2 next smallest players, and sprint gains more spectrum as well as new customers. The other benefit would be that if sprint were to buy the company for $3.5b, the spectrum is worth $3b (http://buswk.co/OYQQyy) They should be able to easily sell the AWS spectrum assets and gain half of that back, as t-Mobile, VZW, and AT&t all have plans to use AWS for LTE networks. Or they could swap some of the spectrum for PCS if they have unused spectrum, which would also help Sprint deploy more LTE.

     

    I know it was a long post for a slight possibility, but purchasing both companies is one way to make a much more competitive NATIONAL wireless industry.
    8 Aug 2012, 05:09 AM Reply Like
  • tony curti
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Bottom line: As a consumer, I save over $200/month against AT&T and $150/month vs VZ for virtually the same service. the economy sucks (and will probably continue to suck) and people will (if only slowly) give up a name-brand addiction and price tag for virtually the same service in all area codes. The "duopolists" are going to incrementally charge you for your data - you have to be a fool to pay for mobile internet when a "free" alternative" is available.

     

    Moreover: the government (read: the FCC) would not let AT&T take over T-Mobile on the grounds of "anti-competitiveness"; so I ask: if the FCC let S go out of business, would not the same anti-competitiveness hold true ?? THe result would be much worse for consumers. there is tacit government approval of S continuing to survive in the government's decision to not let AT&T take over T-Mobile.

     

    As the economy plummets into an ever deeper depression (let's not "gild the lily" here), more and more people will strive for ways to increase their monthly "free cash flow". Unless one is thoroughly addicted to "name-brand" overcharge for any given service and therefore ascribes to themselves a somehow enhanced "self-worth" because they are dumb enough to pay twice for a telecommunication "cab ride" as what is available, one will ultimately migrate to the more reasonable alternative. AT&T and Vericaon pay out 5-6% yields because a lot of the population is dumb enough to continue in their egotistical inertia: in some way, they derive some degree of solace (imbecilic as it is) from paying more (a LOT MORE) for a given service then they have to. This form of self-aggrandicesment only survives along side an inflated ego sustained by an inflated pay check. the fact is that more people are migrating DOWN the economic totem pole then are ascending it. Nonetheless, the crushing "Duopolists" ignore the need (and the profitability) of providing service to all markets. Neither one of the two "Gooshii" of telecom sell Trakphones and each will incremetnally increase your monthly vig for use of mobile inernet. Sprint (especially if it would strike a deal with MagicJack or some other YOIP provider) is the only telecom that is integrated across the broad economic spectrum of customers. Given that the lower part of that spectrum is more rapidly increasing than the top (is anyone awake in Washington ? ) Sprint will continue to add anywhere from 400,00-1,000,000 customers/month as it has for for the past 2-3 years. Only now, it will add them profitably.

     

    Paying two to three times what is necessary for everyday tap water would be regarded as moronic by most people; so why do so many think that there is such a thing as "The Ferrari of the telephone call" ?? That perspective is a figment of a brand name-addicted "brain", not indicative of true value. There is such a thing as "good enough" - and all the rest is just marketing. Perhaps you can here the extra 0.0005 decibels of volume or want to believe that clarity is somehow better on "the duopolists' " lines (especially laughable when you consider that Sprint used to lease the same telecom towers !!) but I can't suspend disbelief for those levels of claim, and I'm not willing to pay 2-3x' S as much for marketing BS when "good enough" will do. If you can convince yourself that one fast food burger is truly better than another at twice the price - than pay up, suckah !! Your excess marketing overcharge is someone else's dividend !!
    8 Aug 2012, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • bosco115
    , contributor
    Comments (196) | Send Message
     
    "As a consumer, I save over $200/month against AT&T"

     

    Considering I pay $100/mo for iPhone service, please tell me what wonderful service you have that actually pays you $100/mo. I anxiously await your reply!

     

    Signed,
    Not The Insane Guy Claiming We're In A Depression
    9 Aug 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • tony curti
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Why pay $100/month for I phone service ? When we left AT&T our monthly bill for two smart phones averaged $350-400/month. We argued almost every month and finally moved over to Sprint. At the time Sprint had not yet signed on to the iPhone, but who cares ? The Android platform works just as well and our current monthly is around $180. And I don't worry about the coming vig Verizon and AT&T will likely impose for internet data usage. (Note: Obviously, as of now, S does carry iPhones -and at pretty reasonable prices with good trade in terms).

     

    Regarding your characterization of me as "Insane" - I only consider that "real" unemployment is 15-16%, there are more people out of work now than there were during the Great Depression, and their are 40 million people on food stamps in Obamaland. If you choose to buy into the figures that the talking heads like to bandy about go ahead; to me, it's just more of the same main course that they always feed the American public. Buon' Appetito !! Same goes for GDP figures. Don't forget, both Bernanke and Obama would like to avoid unemployment as of January.
    9 Aug 2012, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • bosco115
    , contributor
    Comments (196) | Send Message
     
    The BLS and other agencies are independent government entities. They don't care who is in office. This is evidenced by the fact that they have been using the same reporting methodologies for unemployment and other statistics for decades. Nobody is hiding anything. You can freely look up the U-6 rate at any time, if that's your preferred metric. You can even look at them without seasonal adjustments.

     

    But the facts are much less interesting than the hysteria, right?

     

    I have no idea how you paid $400/mo for two smartphones. I've had an iPhone on AT&T since 2007 - it's never been more than $105/mo. No discounts, no promotional rates, no exceptions. I can add a second iPhone for an additional $70/mo. Congratulations - you're spending the same amount!
    9 Aug 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • horseman
    , contributor
    Comments (184) | Send Message
     
    I am reminded of the tortoise/hare finish. Sprint may not be "the Apple" here, but, big is not always best. I am not a penny stock trader/investor, but, I know I would double or triple my money a lot faster with Sprint than V or AT&.... I'm not greedy, but am pragmatic.
    11 Sep 2012, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • tony curti
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    @bosco: If they (AT&T) had charged that price originally we probably would have never left, but our bills were H-U-G-E. Now, Sprint provides comparable service at a nice savings (over previous AT&T) for us.

     

    One other comment - I think the market was almost pricing in extinction for Sprint; if S only comes out of this closer to "breakeven" (let alone if they manage to turn a small profit) they could see another significant pop in their stock price. At this point, having the words "going concern" and "Sprint" in the same sentence would represent a complete turn around in perspective for a lot of investors, and it is that change in perspective which I think could provide the basis another leg up for S' share price. BUT (and this is a "big" BUT [no pun intended]) - this is speculative. Nothing is carved in stone here; however, if T & V continue to vig for data & penalize for overuse, they will continue to give Sprint a vantage point. I think anyone would have to admit: Sprint has been routinely growing its customer base Q/Q for roughly the past two years, and the "data plan 'thing' " will only add to that trend.
    12 Sep 2012, 09:06 AM Reply Like
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