Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sprint's Network Vision Sees Some Delays

Sprint’s Network Vision program  now has over 4,300 cell sites on air and the number either ready for construction or currently being updated has more than doubled in the last three months to more than 13,500.  Sprint has completed leasing and zoning permits on more than 20,000 sites.  Weekly construction starts are up over 250 percent from the second quarter but the company now expects to bring 12,000 sites on air approximately one quarter later than originally planned.

On its quarterly conference call, Sprint executives said they were seeing some delays from their network vendors, setting the rollout back by a about three months, but that it hopes to close the gap with its competitors quickly.

CAPEX reached $1.5 billion in the quarter, compared to $760 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $1.2 billion in the second quarter of 2012.

Sprint now has LTE available in 32 cities and expects to add 115 additional cities in the coming months. Sprint has launched or announced 13 4G LTE devices to date.

Sprint added approximately 1.5 million iPhone customers in Q3, 40% to new customers

“The Sprint platform performed well, with strong net subscriber additions, record third quarter postpaid and prepaid churn and robust revenue growth, contributing to Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.28 billion even as we continue to invest in Network Vision and position the company for future growth,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO.

Sprint posted Q3 revenues of nearly $7.3 billion, an increase of nearly 6 percent year-over-year, and a net loss of $767 million, or $.26 per share , as compared to a net loss of $301 million and a diluted net loss of $.10 per share in the third quarter of 2011.   The larger loss included accelerated depreciation of $397 million, or negative $.13 per share (pre-tax), primarily related to Network Vision, including the expected shutdown of the Nextel platform.

Some highlights:

  • Wireless service revenues for the Sprint platform grew 14 percent year-over-year driven by postpaid ARPU growth of $3.01 and continued subscriber growth.
  • During the third quarter, Sprint raised additional financing of $1.5 billion and retired $1.5 billion of debt maturities including $473 million of 2013 maturities and $1 billion of 2015 maturities.
  • Sprint had 56 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2012. This includes 32.1 million postpaid subscribers (29.8 million on the Sprint platform and 2.3 million on the Nextel platform), 15.4 million prepaid subscribers (14.6 million on the Sprint platform and 800,000 on the Nextel platform) and 8.4 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers, all of whom utilize the Sprint platform.
  • The Sprint platform added 410,000 net postpaid customers during the quarter. The Nextel platform lost 866,000 net postpaid customers in the quarter. Sprint platform postpaid net additions and Nextel platform postpaid net subscriber losses include 516,000 net subscribers from the Nextel platform acquired on the Sprint platform.
  • The company added 19,000 net prepaid subscribers during the quarter, which includes net additions of 459,000 prepaid Sprint platform customers, offset by net losses of 440,000 prepaid Nextel platform customers. Sprint platform prepaid net additions and Nextel platform prepaid net losses include 152,000 net subscribers from the Nextel platform acquired on the Sprint platform.

See also