Sprint posts lowest new subscriber numbers in 4 years, moves just 1.5 million iPhones

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Sprint, the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States, said today it has added only 12,000 customers over last quarter. It represents the company’s lowest number of new customers since 2009, the NY Post reports.

The company also admitted that it would have lost 252,000 customers if Nextel customers weren’t currently migrating during the deactivation of their network.  There are only 1 million subscribers left on Nextel.

The company recently signed a $20 billion dollar deal to get the iPhone, but moved only 1.5 million units this quarter.

Sprint executives say they’re losing customers because of download speeds. Sprint customers are still on 3G connections for the time being. And while it’s true that they’re building a high-speed LTE network, as of now, there’s no telling exactly when it’ll be ready and where. Also, it remains unclear as to whether or not it’ll be a LTE-Advanced network, like T-Mobile has announced.

Sprint has posted net losses every quarter since 2007,  but it’s filed down the figures. It only lost $643 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the $863 million in the same quarter last year. And even as it loses money, it’s revenue rose about .7 percent, to $8.79 billion.

By July 1, Sprint is scheduled to sell 70 percent of itself to Japan’s Softbank Corp. for $20.1 billion. However, last week, Dish Network Corp. offered $25.5 billion to buy out the whole company. A committee of Sprint’s directors is considering Dish’s proposal.

In comparison to Sprint’s customer numbers, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have both done well wrangling subscribers. T-Mobile recently started offering the iPhone, and most of the company’s endeavors since its switch over to 4G have been well-received. AT&T, the industry’s second-largest wireless carrier, also posted weaker subscriber numbers on Tuesday.

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