Sprint issued preliminary numbers for the fourth quarter and pegged its return to postpaid subscriber growth on a series of promotions and plans put in place by CEO Marcelo Claure.
The carrier managed nearly 1 million net additions to its platform, the majority of which were wholesale (527,000) and prepaid (410,000). But Sprint is projecting 30,000 postpaid net additions, a huge improvement over the 272,000 net postpaid losses from a quarter ago.
“Sprint’s first priority is a return to customer growth and our results during the last quarter show we are on the right track,” Claure said in a statement. “While we still have work to do, it is clear that our aggressive actions to provide customers with the best value in wireless are gaining momentum.”
The carrier is giving credit for the forward growth momentum to new deals like the recently announced promotion to cut in half the service bills of AT&T and Verizon subscribers. Sprint also noted success for its iPhone for Life program, saying it’s seen the take rate for device financing jump to 50 percent in the last month.
Despite the apparent positives from Sprint’s new promotions, the carrier’s still falling in line with subscriber growth patterns from late 2013, when former CEO Dan Hesse was still at the helm. Sprint’s latest postpaid adds are down from the 58,000 postpaid subscribers it added in the year-ago quarter. Those postpaid adds came after a third quarter 2013 that saw Sprint drop 360,000 postpaid subscribers.
Part of Claure’s plan to bring back subscribers to Sprint is focusing on the network. Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer said in December the carrier’s Network Vision overhaul program is “substantially complete.” Sprint currently covers 260 million people with its 1900 MHz LTE, and 92 million on its 2.5 GHz spectrum. Euteneuer said that by year end, the carrier hopes to have fully 100 million people covered with its 800 MHz LTE deployment.
However, Claure indicated that Sprint was consider selling some of its 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses after seeing the huge response. the FCC’s AWS spectrum auction received, according to a report from FierceWireless.