Sprint is in the midst of a “lame duck” session as it 5G.. And it’s been keeping itself busy with an upgrade to — what else? —
The smallest of the four national wireless carriers, which earlier this year struck a deal to be acquired by T-Mobile to create a larger No. 3 player, has been busy rolling out network upgrades to prepare for the next generation wireless network technology, which promises better speeds, capacity and responsiveness.
Amid its work, Sprint reported fiscal second-quarter results that showed a slight slowdown in customers. The company lost 34,000 postpaid phone customers, or people who pay at the end of the month, and 20,000 total wireless customers.
Sprint’s results reflect a cooling down around the industry as carriers pull back on aggressive promotions, even with the launch of Apple’s iPhones. Gone are the free iPhone deals — carriers are content to dig in on preserving their customer base with select deals. As result, T-Mobile once again, while . AT&T , and Sprint, as usual, followed the pack.
With its customer base waning, Sprint chose to focus on its growing wireless service revenue in the period. Excluding a new revenue accounting standard, it grew year over year for the first time in five years.
None of this matters if T-Mobile takes over the company. While Sprint has been working on its 5G network, and says that, in conjunction with LG, it will, but T-Mobile has plans for Sprint’s valuable stash of radio airwaves. T-Mobile said the two companies’ spectrum combined could make for a potent 5G network, one of its key selling points for the merger.
For the period that ended Sept. 30, Sprint posted a profit of $196 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $48 million, or 1 cent a share. Revenue rose 6 percent to $8.43 billion.
Analysts, on average, had forecast a loss of 1 cent per share and revenue of $7.97 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.
: Adios, latency.
: It’ll be watching you, too.