Sprint could take two years to turn around says SoftBank's founder

Sprint could take two years to turn around says SoftBank's founder
Because SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son was able to turn around the Japanese telecom division of Vodafone after he purchased it, there is hope that Sprint will realize the same fate. Son's SoftBank purchased 78% of Sprint in a deal that closed in July. Beating out Charles Ergen and Dish Network for the prize, SoftBank will inject $5 billion into Sprint which should help the nation's third largest carrier in a turnaround bid.

But Son, talking at a media event in Japan, says not to expect instant changes from Sprint. Instead, the executive says that it could take two years before the carrier starts to see growth in its subscription numbers. The executive pointed out that it took him a full year to make Vodafone Japan the top carrier in the country in terms of net subscriber gains and said that substantial changes need at least a year or two to start working.

Since SoftBank closed on its deal to buy Sprint, it has purchased additional shares in the open market, giving it an 80% stake in the company. Meanwhile, thanks to the cash infusion from SoftBank, Sprint is able to continue building out its LTE pipeline, although it trails Verizon and AT&T in that department. In addition, Sprint this summer purchased the remaining shares of Clearwire that it doesn't own and will have a decision to make about what to do with the spectrum that came with the Clearwire purchase.

Sprint recently launched its One Up program which allows annual phone upgrades and unlimited service for as low as $65 a month. And yes, this can help grow revenue, although that could be part of the problem. Sprint recently changed its compensation schedule so that executives are now rewarded for subscriber growth instead of revenue growth. So by undercutting the competition, like it does with Sprint One Up, the company's executives could benefit to the tune of higher bonuses even if the revenue of the carrier is shrinking.


source: Reuters

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24 Comments

1. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I do not know if I am excited or scared for Sprint's future. On PAPER, this seems like a great match, but comments like these to lower expectations is always sobering. An increase footprint to rural areas would be nice. I would like more choices then just verizon and AT&T.

9. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

What did you think it would happen like in a few days. Like any merger they have to go through the operations, and keep what works and toss what has not. We will see wireless growth from cash infusion that's needed to expand Network Vision. Then we will see smarter decisions unlike the iPhone fiasco that is bleeding red for all carriers, but since Sprint was smart enough to over pay for a phone that was declining 15 billion is a huge loss for a dead horse! Where Sprint works in Urban areas like NYC is fine for those consumers, but the LTE build out is slow and delayed since the demise of Light Squared. Many people that are leaving are leaving because of lack of 4g coverage. I would not pay Verizon, nor AT&T the money they are asking for data that I rarely use. If you have to surf the web in the streets and want to pay through the nose to do it go ahead its your money. I streamed Netflix on my SG3 in a weak signal with no slow down. It boils down to what is important to the user, and how much you are willing to pay....ask Verizon, and AT&T they know how to shake the money looose from your coiffures.

17. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

The problem with Sprint im sure ya know though is they cant even get there 3g! together still let alone "4g" or lte! See my previous comments only network now that does not work right here in Vegas pretty sad.

22. DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Right, it doesn't happen overnight. I mean it took almost a year and a half for Sprint to change Nextel from a $35 billion company to a $2 billion dollar dead elephant.

20. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

"Look at all the damns I give," says the picture.

2. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

So money no longer matters? I mean market share is always good, but generating revenue is also important. I guess lets the guy figures bring the people and the $$ will follow ???

3. fjftokyo

Posts: 65; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

Allot of people don't understand that even though it might take Softbank two years to amp up Sprint's network and generate great revenue, when it happens Sprint will turbo boost everything if not surpass it's competitors in every aspect. Yes Verizon and AT&T have this and that currently faster or better then Sprint but personally like all the carriers it all depends in where you currently live. I for one reside in LA and just recently was blessed with Sprints LTE network keep in mind I was on AT&T till Sprint's LTE was activated here and then I switched I qualified for an 18% discount and I'm currently paying less money compared to everyone else, and I have real unlimited 4G you just can't beat THAT.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

T-Mobile is faster than Sprint all across the board and offers unlimited LTE. Good luck catching 4G signal with Sprint.

6. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Sorry but Sprint is the worst network overall. Glad it's working out for you. Your in the minority. Now they say 2 more years! Thats not acceptable. See my previous comment. Even the people at Best Buy when I went to get my iphone recommend Sprint the least. It is sad because they have good deals but they are pretty useless.

8. wiiandds

Posts: 64; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

I use Ting which uses Sprints towers and i have good service. its not the best but it gets the job done. I had verizon, they were ok to. All sprints needs to do is add more towers and a better signal. Sprint still is the only carrier that still offers nation wide unlimited LTE network. T-mobile does not count because i have look several times and they have no coverage out side the major city. All I can get is 2G signal.

10. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Best Buy may get bigger bonus for selling AT&T, and Verizon. Being in sales for over 30 years I can tell you that incentives and bonus always leads to deceptive sales disguised as help to some companies. If you are not being covered by LTE with Spring and find that unacceptable as you do....pay out the nose and enjoy limited benefits of those other guys! Useless can only be defined by where there is not service! I travel to the Pocono mountains and I can tell you that friends that have Verizon don't get signal every where. My fiancee has Verizon, and at times she doesn't get all of her text and calls when they happen in NYC. It clearly depends on the area of coverage and even then chances are you can miss calls with any carrier. Yes big red and big blue has greater coverage, and if you fall outside of Sprints LTE signal, and have to have it be my guest and enjoy ponying up for it.

18. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Sprint would save me a bit but not all that much. I get some discount with ATT too every bit helps & I don't need complete unlimited. Sprint needs to quit wasting money on advertising that & get the 3g at least together. They cant even do that. If its working for you im happy for you. But it's a known fact just google it or any other search or recent testing. Overall Sprint now has the worst quality and eroded network. Im sure one day they will turn it around. Im also talking here about voice. I cant even use Sprint to make calls at home w out needing one of there airave things. Let alone data

5. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

In Vegas Sprint for me at least is the only carrier that has dropped calls galore no steady signal where I live & of course there dial up pathetic 3g speeds. Happily enjoying AT&T now & family In CA Just dumped Sprint for Tmobile. I cant believe they are still the number 3 carrier. They talk about lte but cant even get there 3g up to speed in major areas! sad. Sloooow Sprint is sinking. Youd think they would quit wasting so much advertising there unlimited etc and fix there problems. They are really asleep @ the wheel. Do they not know this.. Now there saying 2 more years for improvement lol

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

In Chicago it's the same and apparently they've upgraded all the towers. Sprint is spreading BS to it's customers from jumping ship to another carrier but their "improvements" did nothing.

12. Gatorsrule52

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 18, 2013

But around metro atlanta and the city of atlanta itself, I get 4g most of the time. It really depends on where you live because, before they upgraded the towers, I barely got 4g and my 3g signal was horrendous. 3g is still pretty bad but nowhere as bad as it used to be and as I said 4g is much improved.

21. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

BS. Chicago has been mostly upgraded by Sprint and the network is rock solid. Sounds like you're the one spreading BS. Ans Sprint absolutely kills TMO in coverage, they are on par with AT&T.

23. DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

"Their 3g" and "They're saying" "There" is a difference.

11. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

What a crock of crap you are pushing about T Mobile ok...Compare their coverage map to Sprint if you dare. They won't even allow you to see their whole coverage map because it is so damn spotty. The map is covered with a big sign saying that they cover 96% of Americans, and if you zoom out you can see that compared to Sprint they have less coverage areas. Just pick what you like, and go for it....none of them are perfect, and they all want your money for as little as they have to offer period! The old rope a dope in business always is in play!

13. Bob327

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

I have sprint and honestly have no problems with the network I only have 3 G out here in the boonies buy who cares ... I use wifi around the house and have no need to pull data when away from home... Just not about to pay for what the other carriers want to charge me

14. sarge77

Posts: 202; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

What to do with the Clearwire spectrum your kidding right if its your and it needs upgrading do it for the customers who derserve improvement in service so theirs no issues period. Once your start getting funding back drop it in all your towers to spread out LTE service for peopple who been waiting or your going to have people keep saying LTE where not on sprint, its the later network not now network get it together. Another thing is start doing surveys on your devices to see which ones have better connectivity to your network and tell the makers to provide better antennas for these devices. Makers like LG Samsung not to sure about ZTE or kocera

15. sarge77

Posts: 202; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

. I do know moto and HTC are stronger in this area.

16. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

They already announced what they're doing with the Clearwire spectrum. They are putting it on every Sprint tower and are adding an additional few thousand towers to help.

19. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Network Vision is apparently taking a lot longer than Sprint was claiming it would. There are still a lot of areas that were supposed to have it. They wont come close to reaching their goal of covering 250m with it by end of this year, or if they do, a lot of those people still will have poor service.

24. Bob327

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

Well my original phone was an EVO 4 G ... and replaced by an EVO 4g shift ... never had a problem with signal strength with either in my home... In April (April fools day actually) I went with an iPhone 5 it was useless in the house BUT ....drum roll please ... Sprint did give me an AirRave which actually works... !... There is a difference at least between HTC and Apple...as far as reception goes.. Now if I could ever get LTE !!!! like my both sons have out in the boonies Bob G

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