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Sprint Gains Record Subscribers in Q4, But Posts a Huge Loss

February 11, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

This morning, Sprint was the last one to post their Q4 2013 earnings. And while some numbers looked great, others were not so much. We’ll start out with the bad first and move onto the good news. The carrier posted a $1 billion loss. Which, while it is high, it’s still an improvement over the $1.3 billion loss the carrier posted in Q4 2012. Sprint also had an operating loss of $576 million in Q4, which Sprint says is a 22% year-over-year improvement.

Now onto the good news. Sprint did gain a record number of subscribers this past quarter. It added 58,000 postpaid customers, 322,000 prepaid customers and 302,000 wholesale subscribers in Q4. That brings Sprint up to a total of 53.9 million subscribers. Which the carrier notes that is their highest number ever. Sprint also sold 5.6 million smartphones in Q4, and that brings the total to 20.5 million for the year. That also makes Sprint the leader in having the most customers buying smartphones at 95%, while AT&T is at 93% and Verizon at 88.9%.

Sprint also announced some network news this morning. Sprint says their LTE network now covers 200 million people. Their Sprint Spark network is now available in 14 markets, with the addition of Baltimore and Philadelphia. Sprint did say they expect to cover 250 million people by the middle of this year. But obviously, Sprint’s LTE network is still pretty far behind their competitors of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Sprint also stated that they will have Spark in over 100 cities within the next three years.

During the conference call earlier today, Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse, did state that he was in support of further consolidation within the wireless industry, as long as it doesn’t include AT&T and Verizon. “I’ve said consistently for some time that I believe that further consolidation in the US wireless industry – outside of the bit two, outside of AT&T and Verizon because they’re so large – would be good for the dynamic, good for the country, and good for the consumers,” said Hesse. Then about Sprint supposedly trying to buy T-Mobile, Hesse’s language basically was that Sprint isn’t opposed to a purchase and would argue that it would be favorable for the industry.