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Sprint adds 1.1 million subs in Q1 2012, still loses $863 million

News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday April 25, 2012.

sprint · industry news · dan seifert

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Sprint has released its Q1 2012 financial report, and while it was able to move a lot of iPhones and saw subscriber additions in each category, the company still posted a loss for the quarter.

Sprint reported sales of 1.5 million iPhones in Q1, with 1.1 million net subscriber additions, including 263,000 new postpaid subscribers and 870,000 new prepaid subscribers. Forty-four percent of its iPhone sales went to new customers, which lends weight to Sprint's claim that not carrying the iPhone was a major reason for subscriber loss in previous quarters. Sprint now claims to have 56 million subscribers, a new record for the company.

Unfortunately, the company's balance sheets are still in the red, with a reported loss of $863 million, compared to Q1 2011's loss of $439 million. Sprint points to the "accelerated depreciation related to the expected shut down of the Nextel platform and a one-time net benefit of $170 million...related to the spectrum hosting contract termination with LightSquared" as the reasons for the loss this quarter.

Revenues from Sprint's wireless services totaled $7.2 billion, an increase of over 7 percent year-over-year.

As part of its Network Vision initiative, Sprint says that it already has about 600 cell sites operational and meeting speed and capacity requirements, and it plans to have 12,000 live and operational by the end of this year. The majority of the Network Vision upgrade will continue through 2013. The carrier has already shut down 1,300 iDEN cell sites and it intends to have a total of 9,600 turned off by the end of the third quarter. The planned LTE rollout hasn't changed, as Sprint is still promising the faster 4G service in six cities (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Baltimore) by the middle of this year.

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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