Skip to main content

Sprint is back — the fourth largest carrier posted strong growth, beating AT&T

sprint unlimited promotion cropped
Verizon’s former “Can you hear me now?” guy knows how to push a cellphone service. After the spokesman turned on his former meal ticket and signed with Sprint, the latter service has made a serious turnaround. Sprint announced during its fiscal third-quarter report on Tuesday that it added 405,000 net new post-paid subscribers, 368,000 of whom were phone customers, marking Sprint’s highest growth rate in four years.

While the company still stands as the fourth-largest wireless carrier (behind Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T), its latest numbers represent more robust growth than anticipated, which was actually attributed to a range of promotions the carrier offered. In 2015, Sprint announced that it sought to shave up to $2.5 billion from fiscal 2016 expenses by way of layoffs and cost controls. Add in an effective new ad campaign, and it looks like the firm’s new direction is working.

“Sprint is turning the corner,” Chief Executive Marcelo Claure said in a statement. “Even with all the aggressive promotional offers from our competitors, we were still able to add more postpaid phone customers than both Verizon and AT&T.” Net losses stood at $479 million, down significantly from $836 million just one year earlier. And Sprint’s net operating revenue rose to $8.55 billion, which exceeded analysts’ estimates of $8.27 billion.

While T-Mobile also posted strong customer growth numbers in its latest report, Verizon’s increase was a bit more anemic, and AT&T reported losses in postpaid phone customers (i.e. non-prepaid subscribers). “Even in a highly competitive quarter with multiple promotional offers from its competitors, Sprint was able to report its highest postpaid phone net additions in four years,” the service provider noted, and added that “The company also remained postpaid net port positive for the third quarter in a row and had its highest postpaid phone gross additions in four years.”

Updated by Ryan Waniata at 1-31-2017 at 12:21 a.m. PST: Sprint’s spokesperson actually started with Verizon, not the reverse as was first indicated.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
The sordid history of 5GE, or when 5G isn’t 5G at all
Hold holding three phones from three different carriers.

In the quest to deliver true 5G technology, wireless carriers have naturally been trying every angle they can to promote their own 5G services as superior to the competition. This has resulted in a confusing assortment of letters and symbols often appearing after the letters “5G” on your smartphone to suggest that you’re getting service that is somehow better than the norm.

While this may be true in some cases, there’s at least one exception where it means the exact opposite: AT&T’s “5GE” or “5G Evolution” isn’t what you probably think it is.
When 5G isn’t actually 5G

Read more
Back to where it started: Testing 5G in the Chicagoland area
Hold holding three phones from three different carriers.

Just over a month ago, I found myself in a stadium filled with 70,000 crazy fans cheering for their respective teams. Naturally, I decided to test out how 5G would perform, as one does when at a sporting event. Now, with the same phones and the same process, I wanted to see how 5G does in a normal everyday sense. My hometown of Chicago is where the first 5G networks in the U.S. started to roll out, so I thought 2022 would be a good time to check in and see how things were going. I visited 16 different locations in the Greater Chicago area to see how things were working.
Testing it out
Just like in New Orleans, I used three identical Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra devices. Two of them were unlocked phones provided by Samsung. The third was my personal T-Mobile-branded phone purchased from AT&T and Verizon both provided test SIM cards (this becomes significant later) and I used my personal T-Mobile SIM in my phone. Here's what I found.

Guaranteed Rate Field
The White Sox are the "other" baseball team in Chicago (#GoCubs), so it seemed like a good place to start my testing. It's close to downtown and draws a lot of people every year, making it ideal for a 5G build-out location. This early in the morning, there were no fans around, making it easy to walk up to the park gates.

Read more
What is low-band 5G? Sub-6 explained
5G radio tower.

There’s little doubt that 5G promises to change how we communicate, live, and work in a pretty big way. Unlike the cellular technologies of yesteryear, 5G offers capabilities and performance that were once the exclusive domain of wired networks. So, it’s no surprise that deploying these advanced networks has become more involved than anything that’s come before.

To deliver what 5G is truly capable of, wireless carriers have had to work across a much broader range of radio frequency spectrum, from the lower frequencies where the original GSM cellular networks lived, up to those used by radar systems and satellites.

Read more