Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told CNet he’s not at all worried about the fact the company lost almost half a million customers in the third quarter, saying it was expected. The company has nearly completed the shutdown of the Nextel network, which accounted for a great deal of the customer loss. Hesse is confident that the changeover to LTE, while not without its growing pains, will pay off.
“We know we have to go through this,” he said. “And it’s a balancing act. We have beaten Street estimates on earnings. And we’re being disciplined in terms of going after customers to maximize profitability now. We know we can’t wait until the network phase is over to do that. But then we can come out and make a much larger difference.”
The deal made earlier this month with Japan’s Softbank should help ease what will be a very painful but necessary transition. Sprint’s WiMax experiment was a fiasco and Verizon’s acquisition of Alltel cost them some towers, leaving their network with glaring coverage gaps and embarrassing speeds. Despite these setbacks, once the company makes its new LTE network widespread, their unlimited plans combined with the iPhone may just be enough to make Verizon and AT&T sweat a little.