Sprint adds 1.1 million subscribers in Q4; revenues increase 6% through pre-paid surge

11 Feb 2011

US cellco Sprint Nextel has reported net operating revenues of USD8.3 billion for the three months ended 31 December 2010. This figure represents a 6% increase compared to the figure of USD7.9 billion generated in 4Q09. Full year revenues increased 1% to USD32.6 billion. The cellco reported a net loss of USD929 million for the quarter, a slight improvement on the USD980 million loss reported during the same period one year earlier. However, full year net loss stood at USD3.5 billion, 42% greater than the USD2.4 billion reported in 2009. Adjusted OIBDA for 4Q10 was USD1.3 billion, compared to USD1.4 billion in 2009. Retail wireless service revenues increased by 8% to USD7.4 billion for the quarter, primarily due to an increased number of pre-paid subscribers; Sprint credits the improvement to the success of the Boost Monthly Unlimited offering, additional market launches of the Assurance Wireless product line and the re-launch of the Virgin Mobile brand.

In operational terms, Sprint reported 49.9 million wireless customers at the end of Q4. This figure includes 33.1 million post-paid subscribers, 12.3 million pre-paid subscribers and approximately 4.5 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers, who utilise its CDMA network. For the quarter, Sprint added a total of 1.1 million net wireless customers, of which 704,000 were retail subscribers and 393,000 wholesale/affiliate subscribers. Sprint added a net 646,000 pre-paid subscribers during the quarter, which includes the net addition of 1.4 million pre-paid CDMA customers, offset by the net loss of 768,000 pre-paid iDEN customers. Quarterly wireless post-paid ARPU remained flat for both year-on-year and sequential periods, at approximately USD55 per month. Monthly pre-paid ARPU for the quarter was approximately USD28, compared to USD31 in the year-ago period, and USD28 in the third quarter of 2010.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse commented: ‘I am pleased with the progress Sprint made in 2010 in each of our three focus areas. Sprint’s customer experience and brand continued to strengthen during the year, and we generated excellent cash flow. It had been almost five years since we added over a million customers in a quarter, and the annual improvement in post-paid subscriber results of 2.7 million versus the previous year is unprecedented in the history of the US wireless industry’.

United States, Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile US)