As you my readers have probably figured out by now, I am slightly intrigued by Sprint. I go nuts with some of their business decisions, I’m baffled that they continue losing customers even though I think they have the most amazing deal around (the Sprint SERO plan…look it up if you’re not familiar with it), I’m giddy as hell about the WiMax project…and of course the whole mobile landscape is just interesting in itself to watch.
I don’t even know where to begin with today’s thoughts. I watched news blurb after news blurb yesterday as there was talk of Deutsche Telecom being interested in taking over Sprint. This would make T-Mobile the largest wireless provider in the U.S. as they beat out both Verizon (oh how I would love to see mobile’s greedy evil empire have to fight instead of insilling their will on poor hapless customers) and AT&T. However, there’s concern that this isn’t even a feasible merger because T-Mobile and Sprint are on two completely different networks (GSM and CDMA respectively). There’s also concern of a foreign company owning such a large portion of the wireless infrastructure in the U.S.
Next up was news that Sprint may spin off or sell Nextel. Widely regarded as a momentous failed merger for Sprint, this could possibly be a good thing as Sprint tries to right the ship. This was another blunder of two different networks (again, this makes you wonder about the DT/Sprint merger) that just couldn’t seem to get it right. Nextel had quite a following in the business world but that merger destroyed all that and you hardly hear the chirp of those phones anymore (honestly, I never really saw the appeal but I’m sure they had their place especially in the construction world). Sprint has been working hard to set things right. Cleaning house with stores and workers, new management promising to make changes, could we actually be seeing the fruits of all this?
After that I saw Qwest was ditching Sprint for Verizon. There goes another 800,000 customers. Not the best news for Sprint as they continue to have the highest churn rate and lose customers left and right. I’m trying to see the silver lining in this cloud but it evades me at the moment.
So where does that leave us? Perhaps the merger will be a good thing. With the telecoms moving to move to 3G networks anyway, maybe the fact DT and Sprint being on two different networks is a moot point as they choose a new one. And we still have yet to find out what the deal is with the whole WiMax deal. Also, Sprint seems to be taking cues that their phone offering is less than desireable as they move to add better phones (the Samsung Instinct being the most visible of the phones…often touted as a competitor to the iPhone). There’s also a move to bring more Java-enabled phones to the lineup and Sprint is also upgrading their Titan platform (the next generation Java platform for Sprint phones). Interestingly enough, this platform will allow developers to use the same set of codes and resources as the desktop developers use thus allowing for a much larger developer base.
It’s a wild world for Sprint right now. It’s exciting to see the company isn’t simply rolling over and dying. I must say I’m impressed with what management is up to. They’ll be criticized for a while, highly scrutinized and asked where the immediate results are but this isn’t an overnight fix. My head is spinning from all the recent news and I’m looking forward to seeing what the outcome is. Any other insights or opinions are greatly appreciated.