Sprint next week will start rolling out new “very disruptive” rate plans.
Light Reading reports that new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure held a company-wide call to detail Sprint’s new priorities, with lowering prices being number one.
Claure told employees that Sprint is behind in network quality and therefore has to become more competitive on pricing. He promised new rate plans would be “simple and attractive” but did not offer any specific details.
After the pricing changes, Sprint will focus on putting its large spectrum holdings to use in improving its network and also seek to lower operational costs. Claure told employees driving down expenses would likely lead to job cuts. The potential for new cuts comes after Sprint in January announced company-wide layoffs.
Claure stepped into the CEO role last week after Sprint announced longtime chief Dan Hesse would be moving on. The change in leadership came with an indication that Sprint’s bid for T-Mobile was on ice and that the carrier would focus its efforts on competing with the other carriers.
“In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace. While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint,” Claure said in a statement.
Part of that repositioning entails Sprint getting over the hump on its Network Vision initiative, a rip-and-replace overhaul of its legacy network that held the carrier back while competitors like T-Mobile race ahead with LTE.
Sprint said during its first quarter earnings call that the replacement of its core 3G and voice networks is almost complete and that its LTE network now covers about 254 million people. Sprint’s tri-band LTE network Spark is now in 24 markets and the carrier plans to have 100 million people covered by the end of 2014.
But even with subscriber losses slowing during the last quarter, Sprint’s customer base is down to 53 million, closer to the 50.5 million total customers T-Mobile says it has. T-Mobile CEO John Legere went so far as to predict that his company would move ahead of Sprint by the end of the year.