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Sprint may be the last of the major carriers to add an early upgrade program, but that doesn’t mean its offer isn’t worth taking a look at.

Sprint OneUp

The OneUp program allows customers to get a new phone as often as every year. Customers won’t get a discounted price for their new phones, but Sprint will cut $15 off the monthly service fee. For a limited time, Sprint said, it is also offering phones for no money down, and giving existing customers that have their phone for at least a year the opportunity to trade in their device and join the program.

And, of course, Sprint’s announcement is well-timed, coming as it does with the launch of new iPhones on Friday. Sprint said OneUp is starting today at its company-owned stores. (The program isn’t available in Florida and Washington, D.C.)

T-Mobile began the trend with its Jump program, which offers customers the ability to trade in their smartphone up to twice a year. The program has a $10-per-month fee, though that also includes device insurance.

AT&T and Verizon added programs of their own, though their offers remove the device subsidy offered on their traditional plans, and don’t offer any corresponding cut in monthly service rates.

Black Noble Series Premium Faux Leather Holster Case w/ Removable Sprint Belt Clip for HTC One M7 Android Smart Phone + Custom Fitted Anti Glare Clear Screen Protector for HTC One M 7 + VG Executive Stylus Pen with Integrated Laser Pointer and LED Reading Light + Black VG Stereo Headphones w/ Mic

  • High grade faux leather construction provides excellent phone protection against the elements
  • Microfiber lining wipes your phone’s screen clean by simply inserting your phone into the case
  • Magnetic button clip locking keeps the case securely closed to prevent your phone from falling out
  • Removable Spring Belt Clip & Belt Loop allow you to carry the case on your belt or bag strap
  • Includes Custom Fitted Anti Glare Clear Screen Protector + VG Executive Laser Pointer Stylus Pen + VG Stereo Handsfree Headphones with Mic

The Noble Series Case has been made of high quality faux leather which is not only Luxurious in design but durable as well. So whether you’re at work at the office or simply hitting the town, know that your phone will be protected against the elements in style. + INCLUDES!!! VG Executive Stylus Pen with Integrated Laser Pointer and LED Reading Light. The VG stylus pen let you type, tab and scroll effortlessly on a finger touch screen device. The Soft-Touch Stylus is the perfect solution as it le

ergen_2

Last week, we hosted our second D: Dive Into Media conference in Dana Point, Calif. If you joined us in person, you got a day and a half to talk with and listen to the most interesting people in the media business as they spoke about the future of their industries. If you tuned in to our livestreams, you got a free, real-time sample of what that was like.

And if you missed the whole thing? Your loss!

But no worries: This week, we’ll start running complete videos of each of our onstage interviews and demos, so you can review them anytime you want. We’re kicking off today with Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, who rarely speaks in public, but sat down with us for an hour.

We’re so glad he did, because he has got one of the most interesting perspectives on the way technology is reshaping the TV business — and the ways that the TV business is stubbornly and successfully resisting change.

Some of this stuff parallels thoughts you’ve heard from other people — but usually not those with this much skin in the game. Ergen is a billionaire with the third-largest pay-TV business in America. So getting this stuff right matters a whole lot to him.

There’s a lot of great stuff in here. Like:

  • Ergen’s assessment of his odds as he tries to grab Clearwire’s spectrum out of Sprint’s clutches (low), and why he’s taking on CBS and every other broadcaster with his ad-skipping Hopper DVR (both for leverage and because his customers want it).
  • His explanation of why he bought Blockbuster (real estate) and why he failed to challenge Netflix (too late, too timid).
  • His take on cord-cutting, which you never hear pay-TV bosses say out loud. (Yep, it’s real. And cord-nevers — kids like his who don’t have pay TV and never had — are even real-er.)
  • What he thought of the Bloomberg Businessweek piece that described Dish as “The Meanest Company in America,” and whether his company’s work culture will let it compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. (Dish is not going to be supplying private buses for its workers anytime soon).

And the nice thing is that you get to sample as much, or as little, as you like. Enjoy, and come back for more over the next few weeks:

[ See post to watch video ]

Sprint Nextel Corp. today reported fourth quarter consolidated net operating revenue of $9 billion and full year 2012 consolidated net operating revenue of $35.3 billion. Sprint reported record quarterly and annual Sprint platform wireless service revenues of nearly $7 billion and $27.1 billion, respectively. Driven by increasing postpaid ARPU and continued Sprint platform subscriber growth, wireless service revenues for the Sprint platform grew 12 percent year-over-year for the quarter and nearly 15 percent for the full year.

The company reported a net loss of $1.3 billion and a diluted net loss of $.44 per share for the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to a net loss of $1.3 billion and a diluted net loss of $.43 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sprint’s fourth quarter 2012 results include accelerated depreciation of approximately $400 million, or negative $.13 per share (pre-tax), primarily related to Network Vision, including the expected shutdown of the Nextel platform, and $45 million or negative $.01 per share (pre-tax) related to impacts from Hurricane Sandy.

The Sprint platform postpaid subscriber base grew for the eleventh consecutive quarter, with net additions of 401,000 driven by a postpaid Nextel recapture rate of 51 percent, or 333,000 subscribers, and strong 4G LTE smartphone sales. Sprint platform prepaid net additions equaled 525,000 due in part to the best ever quarterly prepaid Nextel recapture rate of 50 percent, or 188,000 subscribers. Sprint sold approximately 2.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter with 38 percent purchased by new customers. As of the end of the fourth quarter, Sprint had sold more than 4 million 4G LTE smartphones.

“Sprint’s strong performance was fueled by record wireless service revenue on the Sprint platform due to year-over-year postpaid ARPU growth and Sprint platform net additions,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “As a result, quarterly Adjusted OIBDA performance improved year-over-year in spite of significant cost increases related to Network Vision and the iPhone, both of which are key investments for our business that we expect will improve the customer experience and lead to growth in the years ahead.”

Sprint continues to make significant progress on Network Vision deployment. The number of sites that are either ready for construction or already underway has grown to more than 19,500 – approximately half the total number of sites to be upgraded. To date more than 8,000 sites are on air and meeting speed and coverage enhancement targets. Recent weekly construction starts are up 56 percent from the third quarter. Sprint continues to expect to have 12,000 sites on air by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

As part of Network Vision, Sprint has launched 4G LTE in 58 cities and expects that 4G LTE will be available in nearly 170 additional cities in the coming months. During 2012 Sprint launched 15 4G LTE devices including Apple iPad mini and iPad with Retina Display in the fourth quarter.

During the fourth quarter, Sprint raised additional debt financing of nearly $2.3 billion and used the proceeds to retire nearly $1.2 billion of 2014 debt maturities and more than $1.1 billion of 2015 maturities. The remaining outstanding principal balances of Sprint’s 2013, 2014 and 2015 maturities are $366 million, $247 million and $566 million, respectively. Sprint also received $3.1 billion from SoftBank in exchange for a newly issued 1 percent, seven-year convertible bond related to the companies’ pending merger.

As of December 31, 2012, the company’s liquidity was approximately $9.5 billion consisting of $8.2 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and $1.3 billion of undrawn borrowing capacity available under its revolving bank credit facility. Additionally, the company has borrowed $296 million to-date of available funding under the secured equipment credit facility, reducing the remaining undrawn availability to $704 million. Sprint generated $216 million of cash flow from operating activities and negative Free Cash Flow of $1.3 billion in the quarter.

The company expects 2013 Adjusted OIBDA to be between $5.2 billion and $5.5 billion.

More details via Sprint here.

U.S. versions of Samsung’s newest phablet phone, the Note II, launched missing a much touted feature of their International cousins – the Multi Window function. Using MW, folks could run two apps at once. Maybe check their email and surf the web or dot around in calendar while checking a text. Owners of the Note II here were left wondering just what the heck was going on, especially as MW was so hyped. Per the usual, U.S. carriers kept mum. Now Sprint has finally let loose details about the feature and when we can see it.

Coming in the next few days, Sprint users will find the update coming over the air. Along with Multi Window, the Note II will also receive a few tweaks. Incoming texts will now sound off a audible alert when received and email will get better when offline. Sprint notes that the update could take as long as five days before everyone gets their hands on it.