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Businesses Cellphones The Almighty Buck

Sprint To Begin Layoffs, Cut $2.5 Billion In Expenses 55

An anonymous reader writes: Sprint's struggles to remain a major carrier continue. Just a few days after announcing that it is dropping out of a major low-band spectrum auction, the company now says it must cut between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in costs over the next six months. The cuts will need to be aggressive — according to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), Sprint "had $7.5 billion in operating expenses during the three months ended June 30," even as it cut $1.5 billion over the past year. The only good news for Sprint is that its subscriber base is still slowly growing, though not quickly enough to keep pace with T-Mobile, let alone Verizon or AT&T.
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Sprint To Begin Layoffs, Cut $2.5 Billion In Expenses

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously, it's not like it can get any worse. If they're spending ANYTHING at all in that department, it's a waste.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @05:01PM (#50647637) Journal
    I really don't want to see even less competition in the US cellular market; but 'Sprint' has basically been 'Verizon, incompetently' for long enough that I'm continually surprised they are still as alive as they are.
    • Re:Oh Sprint... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @08:34PM (#50648861)

      I was with Sprint for 10 years, and during that entire 10 years it was "oh we have really good upgrades right around the corner". They even had this bullshit website that showed the upgrade status for their towers, and each one would range from 3 months to a 12 months for the next "upgrade". If you checked back 3 months later, you'd still see the same numbers there, and if you called to complain about the service, the rep would go to this website and read those same bullshit numbers to you.

      Meanwhile, the service continued to deteriorate with increasing dropped calls, their 3g was so terrible that your phone would quickly drain its battery if you had no wifi around, and they never offered 4G in Phoenix, which is quite a populated city. Even when they did finally offer 4g in a given area, it was spotty at best, more closely resembling what other cities called a soft launch (i.e. service is available and turned on in the area but not finished, and they don't announce it to the public until its been optimized to be contiguous across the coverage area) and it never reaches the full quality of a hard launch, even though they announce it as such.

      Sprint is and always has been perpetually a "coming soon" network, has never been the "now" network that it claims to be.

      Anyways since their service is so bad, I'll bet that if they go out of business, nobody will even notice. In fact it will likely be an improvement because somebody who actually knows how to run a company might buy their assets and completely throw out their management, engineers, QA, and support teams. It very likely won't be another carrier that buys their assets though, instead it will probably be somebody like Dish.

    • 'Verizon, incompetently'

      Wait...Verizon was competent? When?

  • We broke these bastards up once. They're just recombining - you know that they're going to end up being purchased by AT&T or someone. This time it's "mobile" and "internet connectivity" sectors. They'll just need to be torn down, again... Rinse, lather, repeat. It's going to keep going until we force real change.

    • They'll just need to be torn down, again... Rinse, lather, repeat. It's going to keep going until we force real change.

      I agree with everything you said, but shouldn't it be "lather, rinse, repeat"?

      How can I rinse if I haven't lathered first? A conundrum worthy of pondering...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have never been treated so poorly or lied to so much by any other company than Sprint. They will basically tell you what ever you want to hear with absolutely no basis in fact. I find it hard to believe they have any customers.

  • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @05:15PM (#50647739) Homepage Journal

    I remember when Sprint was running a campaign where you could go unlimited everything for about what I was paying AT&T. I tried to switch to Sprint at that time. They rejected my credit card.

    I'm not sure why they rejected my credit card. It wasn't like there wasn't enough money to cover the cost of a new phone and the initial fees. In fact, they managed to put a hold on the account for the amount they wanted, but even with the hold, they wouldn't accept the card. Customer support couldn't help me, and my bank (which happened to be right next door to the Sprint store) couldn't figure out what was going on with them.

    So I stayed with AT&T.

    There's really no point to this story other than I remember trying to become a Sprint customer and being unable to do so. I wonder how many other people Sprint has rejected over the years due to broken systems?

  • you can hear a pin drop.

    No really, it's not just an advertising gimmick. I recently switched to Sprint and got a new iphone. Whenever I talk to another person with a Sprint iphone, the call quality is phenomenal. I really feel like I can hear a pin drop.

    • Quality is OK for voice. Coverage is like flipping a coin for anything under about a 20k person town, and data is often dog slow.

    • That's adaptive multi-rate wideband, which goes by the commercial name of "HD Voice." T-mobile actually had that feature long before iPhone even supported it (was first available on some Android phones.) Sprint added that feature about 1.5 years after T-Mobile did. I believe Verizon added it just after T-Mobile and AT&T kind of has it (it's only in certain areas if you have AT&T.)

      • by schnell ( 163007 )

        That's adaptive multi-rate wideband, which goes by the commercial name of "HD Voice."

        Yes and no. You're correct about the above, which is the codec being used, but the larger point is that when you're calling between iPhone 6 or higher (or Samsung Galaxy 5+, etc.) users on the same network, you're using VoLTE. It's not about Sprint per se; if you are on a VoLTE-capable phone with any US major carrier, and you call someone else on that carrier with a VoLTE-capable phone, you will get that same enhanced audio quality.

        From analog phones through GSM 3G, everything was built around circuit switc

        • You don't have to have LTE for that to work. When I first started using HD Voice on T-Mobile, my phone wasn't even LTE capable, and there was no LTE in my area just yet (it was HSPA+ 42.) The ITU standard by the way is G.722.2.

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @05:35PM (#50647851)
    THAT'S when the pin dropped. link:https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingNews/Pages/fast-track-loyalty.aspx
    • I figured it was just too confusing to the rednecks for the Sprint Cup to not be awarded for sprint car racing

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @05:42PM (#50647903)

    Cut 33% of operating expenses and fail to invest in fixing their lackluster network? This is what a company that just wants to be put out of their misery does. They're is no clearer signal they just want to be bought out for their spectrum at this point.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      So they basically pulled an IBM and milked the short-term dry, killing their body. And I'm sure the executives and board members who made that decision all gave themselves big bonuses during their short-lived boom time.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @05:51PM (#50647963) Journal
    They could sell the access credentials to their credit checking partners experian, equifax databases to Ukranian mafia and raise some real dough.
  • Why did they invest so much into a failed corpse when they can't afford their own cost without having the radio shack weight around their neck

    Stupid

  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Friday October 02, 2015 @07:15PM (#50648423) Journal

    Anyone who has been paying attention has been scratching their head about Sprint for a long, long time. They seem to make ever technical decision WRONG... and not just wrong, but mind-bogglingly, inconceivably wrong. It seems like they are NEVER looking forward...

    Of course they chose WiMax, but they also sat back and had Clearwire do all the work for them... and very poorly. And when Clearwire was failing miserably, instead of Sprint using their tenuous connection to advantage and letting their creditors take the hit, Sprint spent the money to buy them out... a useless network.

    Sprint actually had great network coverage... by accident. They bought Nextel, whose 2G iDEN network was every bit as good as the big guys. Perhaps because of the lower frequency, 800Mhz spectrum, you could get a good signal EVERYWHERE. Sprint was required to keep it running under terms of the merger, and sold cheap access to it as Boost... When they were allowed to shut-off iDEN, it was a no-brainer to use the frequencies for their new LTE radios, but instead they announced they'd use them for their CDMA/3G network... Existing phones couldn't use the frequencies, and people aren't looking for good coverage on their 3G network, today. It made no sense.

    Then Network Vision came along. Sprint was going to basically replace all the equipment in their entire cellular network... Awesome... Except with all that work, they were just replacing legacy equipment to keep it operating cheaper. It seems crazy they didn't include installing LTE on all their towers as part of the project. It was an obvious opportunity to get them back on a good footing, and they squandered it.

    And on a similar subject, they announced they weren't interested in deploying VoLTE, yet. A perfect opportunity to get people off their legacy 3G network, so they don't have to spend money upgrading it and can focus on LTE, and they say no, folks should keep on making calls over the old 3G network.

    Their pricing is insane, too. They've got rock-bottom prices for MVNOs, but sign-up for Sprint direct, and their prices are nearly as high as Verizon/AT&T, despite their horrid coverage, speeds, etc.

    They're a perpetually backwards company, and mystifyingly so. Obviously always taking the wrong steps, which is why they've fallen behind tiny T-Mobile, which simply hasn't been so idiotic.

    • And on a similar subject, they announced they weren't interested in deploying VoLTE, yet. A perfect opportunity to get people off their legacy 3G network, so they don't have to spend money upgrading it and can focus on LTE, and they say no, folks should keep on making calls over the old 3G network.

      Agree with the other stuff, but technically Sprint was the first carrier with VoLTE (or VoIP). They inked a deal with Google several years back where your Sprint phone number became your Google Voice number. Un

      • technically Sprint was the first carrier with VoLTE (or VoIP). They inked a deal with Google several years back where your Sprint phone number became your Google Voice number

        Obviously that's not VoLTE, and I expect T-Mobile's widespread deployment of VoIP on their handsets predates that, anyhow.

        Even Sprint never mentioned that, in relation to their VoLTE plans:

        http://www.fiercewireless.com/... [fiercewireless.com]

        http://telecoms.com/304831/spr... [telecoms.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was a contractor at Sprint for 9 months a long time ago. I, and about 9 other people, were hired to work on a project to replace sprintpcs.com with exactly the same thing, only running on IBM WebSphere. It was a huge project, with IBM people all over the place. Sprint had made a deal with IBM, and the first order of business was to spend $140MM to convert their existing codebase to work with IBM's stuff.

    One day, I was shown how to launch WebSphere Studio (as if I didn't already know how). The next day, an

  • Its not helping them. The entire market needs to integrate and using incompatible tech that isn't employed much elsewhere... and doesn't especially offer any benefits is not a fantastic idea.

    At the very least, sprint should transition to 100 percent hybrid phones and networks.

    I'm not touching any carrier that I can't just use a sim card for at this point. I'm also done with contracts etc.

    I'm happy to sign up to pay X per month every month. However, I'm not agreeing to be bound for X years into that contract

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