According to a story at CNBC, cellular carrier Sprint is in talks to sell off it’s iDen wireless network to either NII Holdings Inc. or private equity investors.
Their iDen network, as some of you may already know, is what the carrier uses for it’s push-to-talk service. (For more info about iDen technology check out the Wikipedia page here.)
After another quarter of subscriber defection Stifel Nicolaus analyst Chris King feels that “every piece of the business is for sale at a certain price right now.”
Another analyst, Michael Nelson with Stanford Group, doesn’t say that’s not true but does add that “even if they want to sell iDen I don’t think there’s a buyer.”
Sprint today announced their second quarter numbers and I’m not sure why but the numbers continue to surprise me.
In the second quarter Sprint lost roughly 901,000 subscribers and reported a net loss of $344 million.
Sprint chief Dan Hesse is quick to point out that they are seeing some “signs of progress from our efforts to improve the customer experience, rebuild the Sprint brand and increase profitability.”
Believe it or not it is true. In their first quarter Sprint lost 1 million subscribers and reported a loss of $505 million. Their churn rate dropped to just under 2 percent, the best the industry has seen since 2004.
After this loss of subscribers Sprint is left with 51.9 million total subscribers, which is not a bad number on its own but it does keep it well behind number two Verizon with 68.7 million and number one AT&T with 72.9 million.
Cell carrier Sprint has just released a new product to help subscribers who suffer from poor reception at their home or office.
The new product, called AIRAVE, looks a bit like a wireless router and once you plug it into your broadband connection (DSL, cable or T1) it will create a small cellular network with a range of up to 5,000 square feet giving, allowing up to five people at a time to have strong signal.
If you’re on a call when you leave your home, the call will automatically be transferred to the Sprint network so you can keep going without dropping the call (assuming you have coverage there).
It’s not free, of course. The device itself will cost you $99.99 and then $4.99 per month to have it draw from your plans minutes while on a call, $10 per month to make unlimited calls through the AIRAVE with one Sprint phone, or $20 per month to make unlimited calls through AIRAVE with multiple lines.
Or switch to a different carrier.
When I was with Sprint a few years ago the experience was pretty poor all around, especially on the customer service end. If things haven’t gotten any better, the last thing I would be thinking about would be giving them more money.
For more info about the AIRAVE check out the product page here.
While many consumers of data on cellular networks are having fun with 3G, others are looking forward to the next big thing, 4G.
Two different standards are battling it out for the one that gets adopted, LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and WiMAX.
AT&T has asked the FCC to deny requests by Sprint and Clearwire radio spectrum licenses.
Guess which one AT&T is backing.
AT&T’s request will not impact the upcoming WiMAX launch in Baltimore, but if the licenses are not granted there cannot be a nationwide deployment of WiMAX.
The problem that AT&T has with the deal is that, according to their filing, Sprint and Clearwire are attempting to avoid the FCC’s normal review process by minimizing the current spectrum holdings each has. AT&T says that Sprint and Clearwire’s application was “fatally defective” and should be dismissed.
Sprint and Clearwire, on the other hand, maintain that they have “exhaustively documented all of their spectrum holdings, including a county-by-county breakout and described the myriad public interest benefits of the transaction.”
A couple of days ago news came out that Korean communications giant SK Telecom was in talks with Sprint to acquire them. Apparently that report wasn’t quite right and the company clarified their interests.
While SK Telecom is in talks with Sprint, it’s not to acquire the them. Instead, SK Telecom is interested in possibly collaborating on technology.
In a filing to the Korea Exchange, SK Telecom said “we are studying various business opportunities in the United States but are not seeking to take control in (any) major U.S. mobile operator.”
Korean communications company SK Telecom has announced that they are in talk with US cell carrier Sprint about acquiring the struggling company.
Sprint is currently the third largest cell carrier in the US, so the move would give SK Telecom a pretty big footprint in the US assuming there wouldn’t be a regulations issues with foreign ownership of the company.
What would SK Telecom do to revive Sprint? We may get to find out.
Palm’s latest Treo smartphone, the Treo 800w, is now available from Sprint at their online store.
Features of the 800w include:
- Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system
- 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
- EVDO rev. A
- Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR and stereo Bluetooth
- microSDHC card slot supporting up to 8GB cards
- 2 megapixel camera able to capture video
The 800w will set you back $249.99 after $250 in instant savings and a $100 mail-in rebate after signing a new 2-year agreement.
For more info check out the product page here.
According to a photo that was posted at the SprintUsers.com forum (not pictured here), the HTC Touch Diamond (also known as the MP6950) will be coming to Sprint on September 2nd.
The same photo shows off a few other handsets allegedly coming to Sprint and their release dates:
- LG Rumor in Blue
- Palm Treo 800W
- Blackberry Curve in Red
- MotoRAZR VE20
- Novatel EX720 Express Card Refresh
- Sierra AirCard 595 PC Card Refresh
- Katana Eclipse by Sanyo (SCP-6750)
- M320 by Samsung
- M220 by Samsung
- Motorola Renegade V950
- MP6950 by HTC
- Motorola i365
Sprint put a lot of money into promoting the new Samsung Instinct touchscreen phone and so far so good–the Instinct is the best selling EV-DO device ever resulting in product shortages in some parts of the country.
John Garcia, president of Sprint’s Wireless Division, says “we had high expectations going into the launch so our initial order to Samsung was the largest for any Sprint EVDO handset to date.”
According to some Sprint customers who presumably were not paid for their comments and purchased for the device like good boys and girls, even though their comments appear in the press release itself, it’s a hit:
- It’s awesome. I have been a Sprint customer for six years. This device offers every single Sprint feature down to the smallest and jam-packs them all into one device. It is just an amazing device. – William Leak, Millville, NJ
- Instinct offers easy access to everything I need when I’m traveling or at work… even my music! It’s everything I want in a phone and more. – Stanley Long, Philadelphia, PA
- I purchased it because it’s the hottest phone out there and I love the huge screen. – Stephan Boyett, West Orange, NJ
- I was out of contract and stayed with Sprint because of this phone! Also your everything plan includes everything, not like AT&T. – Daphne Wilson, White Plains, NY
- I was blown away the first time I saw the device. The more I play with the device, the more I love it. – Jennifer Hayes, Edison, NJ
For more info check out the entire press release here.
The next Palm Treo, dubbed 800w, will finally be released in July on Sprint’s network.
Features of the 800w will include:
- Windows Mobile 6.1 OS
- 256MB of ROM, 128MB of RAM
- 1.3 megapixel camera
- Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
- LCD with 320 x 320 resolution
Corporate customers will be able to get their hands on it on July 9th, while consumers will have to wait until July 13th.
Without signing a contract it will set you back $599.