Sprint is going through some very hard times at the moment, with the firing of Dan Hesse, and the hiring of a new CEO Marcelo Claure, and the loss of customers and the loss of T-Mobile. All of this going on at once, yet the CEO of the company who owns Sprint (SoftBank), Masayoshi Son is very hopeful for the future. Son has made a “street fighter” comment about his new CEO of Sprint, and talks about how the company is ready for a price war. Son says Sprint is in a place where they are ready to start the pricing wars thanks to a networked that’s been amped up.
Sprint is currently the No, 3 US carrier, but that spot has been slowly slipping away from them. While Sprint has been focusing on acquiring T-Mobile (which failed) and revamping their network, consumers lost confidence in the company and switched carriers. However to get those consumers back, Son has faith in Claure, saying “Marcelo is a street fighter,” Continuing to say, “You look at his face and that’s the sort of look he’s got. He’s got the look of an outlaw…I’m confident that with him in charge, Sprint will be a very interesting company.” The new CEO of Sprint has had experience starting a company from the ground up. Marcelo Claure is Bolivian-born and is the founder of a device reseller called Brightstar Corp. Claure’s company was acquired by Softbank earlier this year. That experience Son has had with Claure, gives Son the confidence to hand over Sprint to Claure and see him bring Sprint out of the hole. Still, for SoftBank, the troubles at Sprint are only accounting for small losses.
SoftBank owns plenty of other companies, Brightstar, Sprint, and a game company called GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. At the end of SoftBank’s fiscal year, they posted a 16% drop in profit. In fact, they are still on track to make 1 trillion yen by March 2012, which is a small loss from last years 1.08 trillion yen earned. Still analysts are concerned that Sprint may not be able to compete as hard as other carriers in the US market.
Sprint needs to do a lot to build their network up to the standards consumers are used to getting elsewhere. That will require a lot of spending, so entering into a price war may just cause too much spending all around. Sprint trying to keep up with companies like T-Mobile can cause even more devestation for the company. T-Mobile CEO, John Legere has already taken aim at Sprint on Twitter. Legere has said that T-Mobile is set to pass Sprint and become the No. 3 carrier in the US by the end of the year. In fact, T-Mobile has already passed Sprint and all other carriers, to become the No 1 carrier in the US amongst prepaid customers. That spot used to be held by Sprint. T-Mobile now has 15.64 million prepaid users, and Sprint now only has 15.19 million. Still, Son is confident in the future. “Until now, Sprint didn’t have the network to participate much in tough price competition and marketing battles, but now it’s ready to move aggressively.”