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Sprint’s New CEO Aims to Cut Pricing First, Improve Network Second

Sprint

Sprint’s new CEO, Marcelo Claure, has a game plan for his new company, one that will have any potential customers thinking twice before signing up for a competitor. Claure’s main focus will be three areas moving forward – price cuts, network improvements, and a decrease in operational costs.

For now, price cuts will be the company’s main priority, with Claure not sugar coating Sprint’s position in the US carrier race. “When you have a great network, you don’t have to compete on price. When your network is behind, unfortunately you have to compete on value and price.” 

Claure continued that the “disruptive” pricing changes would begin as soon as next week, ensuring that Sprint sales reps would have the necessary tools to persuade potential customers to sign up over other companies, especially T-Mobile.

His approach is blunt and honest, divulging that he intends to have more honest conversations with Sprint employees, even distributing his personal email, promising to respond to anyone who writes him. He admits that Sprint’s image in social media is largely negative, that retail reps cannot properly communicate the value of the network’s “Framily” plans, and that Sprint failed to react quickly against competitive moves.

From the outside looking in, this new CEO may be exactly what Sprint needed. If they can get a John Legere-type personality, crazy enough to put the customers first in this industry, we could start seeing real change at Sprint.

You tell us – is this the system shock Sprint needed to be a competitor again in the US?

Via: Light Reading
  • E James

    If you want mobile hotspot add on then T-Mobile is a better deal. ($80 with 5gb mobile hotspot). Sprint is $60 plus $10 for 1gb, $19.99 for 2gb,and $49.99 for 6gb.

  • E James

    What about the extra 10 dollar charge for data? Also will mobile hotspot price change?

  • Ana Peralta

    Well i still have no clue why everyone hates Sprint including the media, Sprint will at least provide you voice coverage, T mobile you leave the city its not at all reliable no signal to make a phone call. Sprint improved a lot, upgrading its nation wide network in 2 years its not easy.

    Check out my Ookla Speedtest result. What’s your speed? http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/932499743

  • Steve

    Pricing is a good start, but people are going to be pissed when they find out that the sprint LTE network they signed up for is patchy and unreliable. And in some places they don’t have ANY signal. Just came back from Michigan, which provided me with mostly 1x signal. Network improvements! Make your current customers not hate you anymore.

  • H.R. Pierson

    Kiss. Keeping it simple. Be that under cover boss. Hit the streets and you’ll find you have the SAME problem T-Mobile v has.
    1)YOUR NETWORK STINKS.
    2) If in doubt as to what I mean, go to New York, 5 town area. MAJOR business area. And become totally frustrated at your abysmal service.

  • harrydevlin

    Yet another Sprint CEO that promises to fix the network.
    .
    No one that has ever experienced Sprint or T-Mobile coverage, then experienced AT&T or Verizon coverage is coming back. Sprint could not possibly afford to duplicate the coverage of AT&T or Verizon, and even if they had the money it would take a decade to get approval for, and construct, all those new cells.
    .
    The price cuts make sense if they are real price cuts. But the problem with price cuts is that you’re not competing just against AT&T and Verizon, you’re also competing with several very good MVNOs on AT&T and Verizon that offer low cost, high-quality, coverage.

  • talon1812

    I just want decent coverage at my house. 0-1 bars of barely 3g is not why I pay a premium data price. Lower prices would be nice, but better coverage would be better.

    • harrydevlin

      I don’t care much about the coverage at my house. I can use VOIP via Wi-Fi or a landline. I care about coverage in more rural and remote locations where I am likely to travel.

  • Hakim Leveille

    Sprint sucks, ditched them in 2012 (Note II launch date) best move that i ever made

  • Hector

    In Memphis, Sprint is better than T-Mobile.

  • SoulSaga1106

    Bring NEXTEL back! That’s 3 million customers easy.

  • sev

    Price war is win win for consumers.

  • Smeckle

    I would have thought those awful framily commercials was what was keeping people away. Do away with those first.

  • Alberto

    But as usual, the current customers get screwed with prices. I don’t have issues with their service whether it’s Arizona or New York City. But pricing is the issue. I guess I can’t complain too much. Unlimited everything on 3 lobes with hotspot and paying about $200/month.

    • Patrick

      Why wouldn’t you change plans? You can switch plans anytime you wish.

  • fritzo2162

    That guy’s thinking is really backward. The reason people pay a premium for Verzion is their network is EVERYWHERE. He should be

    1. Improving network
    2. THEN cut costs
    3. Make data prices reasonable
    4. blah blah nobody cares about anything else

  • http://www.techreviewshop.com/ JP

    Why was everyone against the sprint/tmobile merger again? Bringing in the hotshot Tmobile ceo into sprint with all of their combined spectrum would have changed the industry overnight as there would have been 3 major competitors instead of 2.

  • jimt

    Why doesn’t T-mobile buy them? Tmo could use the network and spectrum. Win Win

    • Patrick

      Because the government want to own the merger to be completed! That’s why spring dropped out of talks with T-Mobile

  • StankyChikin

    All carriers should be unlimited talk, text, and 5GB data for $50!!!!!

  • enigmaco

    I don’t care how much they lower their price I will never go back trying to charge me an etf on a expired contract no thank you.

  • TGIF

    Two different colors of text in the article-Black and Gray #OCDoftheday

    • Justin W

      I hate you for mentioning it.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      My eyes didn’t even see that until you mentioned it. Fixed! Thank you.

  • Aaron C

    Discounting it to free is the only way I’d even consider jumping on the Sprint network… And even at that, I’d have to seriously think about it…

  • mgamerz

    Sounds like he really wants his employees to be part of his Framily.

  • Michael Sahaid

    This is what T-Mobile did if I can remember correctly. They adjusted prices to disrupt and then they built the daylights out of their network. Sounds like Sprint might be digging itself out of its own hole.

    • Aaron C

      But T-Mobile had a better network (in most areas), and it had the “wow” factor of being SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than the competition, and when most people switched, they stayed because they discovered the network had much improved from ten or even five years ago.

      Sprint’s margin is much less — it will have to be significantly cheaper for folks to choose it over T-Mobile. If you have good Sprint coverage, chances are you also have good T-Mo coverage. It’s not like AT&T vs. T-Mobile, this is Sprint we’re talking about. If you live in a rural area, your choices are Verizon or AT&T. If you live in the vicinity of a metro area and don’t travel much, you choose T-Mobile.

      What are the circumstances under which you’d choose Sprint?

      I don’t think they’ll be able to cut enough to gain users. And even if they do a “7 day affair” like T-Mo did, I can’t imagine that many people sticking around. Their network plain stinks.

      • uecker

        Surprisingly, there are areas that Sprint covers where there isn’t any T-Mobile coverage at all. Not even 2G, natively. I am in one of those places in southern WI.

        Where I live, Sprint is great. Better than AT&T and T-Mobile by far (because neither of them offer service here), so that leaves me with Verizon, USCC, or Sprint. Well guess what, Verizon and USCC are so overloaded here, that even in small towns LTE drops to a crawl. Sprint however, maintains a 20-30 mbps down speed at all times in my community.

        Is Sprint great in a bigger city like Madison? Eh… The speeds aren’t bad off peak hours or on the edges of town, but downtown where I work things get bogged down to only 4-5 mbps. However, we have been spotting some 8T8R B41 panels being installed which should GREATLY improve data speeds.

        Sprint isn’t as awful as people make it out to be. They have done a LOT in the 9 months I have been with them. I will admit though, that if T-Mobile or AT&T had native coverage here I would give them a shot with my Nexus 5, but as of now Sprint works just fine for me.

      • jimt

        To answer your question: Super cheap and unlimited! That is their only hope, if then.

      • Michael Sahaid

        I have Sprint because I have full Spark coverage where I live and its unlimited. But I go to the beach a lot and its usually 3G. So it has its pros and con’s like anything else, what I love is never worrying about going over my data limit.

  • monkeybutts

    Network should be priority #1 not 2.

    • hfoster52

      Well I think its a balance. You can’t pay for the upgrades without the customers. And you can’t get the customer with crappy service and premium prices. This is why TMO is making it cheaper to drive volume to in turn drive their upgrade strategy.

  • Shawn John

    A Day late and a dollar short, sorry Sprint the party is over, the customers are now fully aware that T-Mobile is the consumer choice and for great reason, T-Mobile set’s the price points, all the other carriers follow suit or risk losing customers by the droves, unless Sprint is willing to drop prices below T-Mobile’s then these are just empty declarations. A better idea would be bowing out the industry and just selling to T-Mo, there’s nothing Sprint can do to make up ground. Sell Now!

    • mgamerz

      BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE

  • Nice Try Sprint

    I’m not going to a CDMA network unless it has the coverage of Verizon.
    Phone choice > cheap

    • T4rd

      At least Sprint lets you activate an unlocked Nexus 5 on their network and it works perfectly. Can’t say that about Verizon. As LTE becomes more dominant, CDMA means less and less.

      • anehlo

        Good point.

      • harrydevlin

        Because LTE evolved from CDMA. Qualcomm still makes a bundle off of patents!

        But you’re correct, the CDMA advantage will fade away, especially as voice over LTE is rolled out. Verizon’s advantages have been a) most of their network is 800 MHz, and b) CDMA has better quality and coverage for a given number of towers than GSM.

        Verizon is very annoying with their phone restrictions even though years ago they made a big deal about how they would stop doing that. You’d think that they would jump at the chance for the Nexus 5 since it would be an unsubsidized phone but they would not discount service because of that.

  • OhYeah!

    It all comes down to whether the service works or not and in my case it just didn’t work. They HAVE to expand their coverage or there is just no reason to have them. Who cares if they are cheap if you don’t get service anywhere.

  • morgan boyle

    This is a really important shift in the industry. This kind of pricing can get a large mass of people onto a network and overtime afford to build it out. Most of the population probably gets perfectly fine sprint reception too (i.e. those living in cities). its just when we start to wonder off that we drop coverage and suddenly feel we really need that reception.

    • mcdonsco

      Given its been 5 years or so since I tried sprint, but at that time coverage wasn’t the problem, it was dropped calls while I still had a strong signal (and it was constant).

      • monkeybutts

        Theres a 30 day trial, but it’s not as straight forward as T-mobiles 7 day trial. Order phone pay activation, pay bill, return phone, wait for refund. If they carry the Nexus 6. I’ll probably take advantage of it and use it on T-mobile instead for a month see if I want it.

        • david ruiz

          That 30 day trial is over and it was way better than t-mos. T-mo only let you get iphone 5s with a pre auth on your card of $30 more than the retail price. Sprint let you pick your phone with no pre auth on your card. Too bad its over.

    • Short Bus Driver

      Yes, they can make up the losses on each sale by selling more phones. Most of the people on new plans will be existing customers who change to new plans.

      1) Lowering revenues while spending more on network
      2) ???
      3) Profit!!!

  • The Dude

    Spending $10b on getting iPhone which wasn’t even an exclusive was a really bad move. Sprint still has IMO the best plans and customer service, far batter than Verizon (but then what isn’t). VoLTE can’t come here soon enough, then they can truly compete.

  • Bryan Mills

    Nobody cares about Sprint anymore.

  • hfoster52

    The if we build it they will come didn’t work. So now try lets make it cheap and see even though their network sucks.

  • schoat333

    They need to start by cutting Sponsorship of Nascar. That has to be costing them way too much.

    • hfoster52

      Its a write off.

    • Bryan Mills

      Especially since Nascar isn’t doing anything about their murdering driver Tony.

      • Billy Bob

        Or the Mills family about their mentally retarded homosexual son and his worthless posts.

        Keep on trolling, clown boy!

        • Bryan Mills

          Hopefully Tony hits you next.

      • hfoster52

        Dude not needed here.

      • Bubba

        Please tell us you plan to start dirt track racing.

    • Patrick

      And they can’t beat the free advertising time they get during the race

  • GPier

    OK… Not the right order. Next CEO please!

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Because getting their network up to speed would only take until next week, if *only* it were the top priority…

      They need to stop bleeding customers first, and the fastest way to do that is to make their current and potential customers feel like the pricing matches the perceived value of the network. As of right now, the coverage area is larger than T-Mobile, but its reliability and speed fall short. So, I’d expect the prices to fall somewhere around $5-10 under T-Mobile’s equivalent plans.

      Once they have proven to that they are serious about change, they will have a grace period by which to prove it further with their network efforts. An easy to follow, transparent initiative with clear and obtainable milestones for each quarter would go a long way towards combating the “Sprint’s network sucks and they aren’t doing anything about it”, especially if they can manage to exceed their goals the first few times.

      • monkeybutts

        If they can figure out how to at least get calls working right their network wouldn’t be so bad.

      • jimt

        At this point it will take more than $5-10 cheaper to do anything.

      • harrydevlin

        It can take five to ten years to get approval for, and to install, a new cell tower in a suburban area. And at 1900 MHz you need a LOT more cell towers than at 800 MHz. I guess one potential bright spot is that Sprint is now deploying some 800 MHz spectrum.

        T-Mobile put up a tower near me. The process started when Pac Bell Cellular had the spectrum, then Cingular got it when SBC acquired Pacific Bell, then T-Mobile got it when Cingular bought AT&T Wireless and got the more desirable 800 MHz network. The residents fought the tower. T-Mobile finally consented to move it away from people’s back yards and it went in. I think the whole process took eight years.

        Verizon and AT&T tower approvals seem to go through faster. Since they have the more desirable 800 MHz spectrum they can get by with fewer cells and they can be placed in commercial areas where there is little opposition.

    • T4rd

      Sounds like the right order to me. Changing pricing is something they can do immediately and it will correlate more with their current level of service/coverage. As they improve their network, they can afford to charge more of a premium.

      • SplashMTN

        This.

      • GPier

        So lower prices? and upgrade service and reliability? They can’t even afford to do that now.

        • Jeff Tycz

          more people due to lower prices equates to more money coming in. Quantity over quality

          • GPier

            They are near the cheapest already. And still terrible service.

          • Jeff Tycz

            the number or people on signed up with them is low

          • SamBoy

            True but wont that make the network even worse? I mean more people crapy network less money = harder to build enough towers for better service?

        • T4rd

          I’m sure the idea is to attract more people with lower prices so they can put more money into their network.

        • michael arazan

          Not after the purchase of clearwire, guess they need to make up some money since that purchase, and I still haven’t seen or heard how they implemented Clearwire into their network

      • MistaButters

        They already are near the lowest price of the major carriers (T-Mobile might be less). But they can’t get their customers to stay because their service is trash.

        • T4rd

          Haven’t seen a comparison since the Framily plan stuff came out, but last I saw, Sprint was definitely not the cheapest of the big 4. If I remember right, it was pretty much the same as AT&T. But it always depends on what plan you’re using.

          • monkeybutts

            Really depends on usage and how quick you can fill up 7 spots on framily. Plus the whole waiting 2 billing cycles for framily to kick in is kind of dumb.

          • jimt

            They need to start a framily plan of one for starters, if it takes 7 make it one.

          • MistaButters

            tbh, I haven’t taken an in depth look at pricing recently either. If it is the same price as AT&T, it’s no wonder they can’t keep customers.

      • archercc

        The issue is they have had the “will will be fixing the network” since at least 2008. I was a Sprint customer from before then to early last year and the data network was always coming, but it never came.

        • anehlo

          It does seem like that doesn’t it. I feel like they’ve been upgrading their network for years without improvements, only more promises. To be fair, at some point not after 2010, they had to start from scratch again due to then changing from WiMax to LTE. Still sucks for customers.