Sprint Focused on Network Densification, Small Cell Deployment
Sprint posted a quarterly profit for the first time in three years — $206 million in net income, compared with a $302 million loss for the same period a year ago; it’s in the middle of a five-year turnaround plan and cut costs by $370 million (to roughly $7 billion) in the second quarter and expects an additional $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion in year-over-year reductions in fiscal 2017.
Much of the cost-cutting has been accomplished by lowering subscriber acquisition costs. Sprint President/CEO Marcelo Claure told analysts on Tuesday, at one time the carrier streamlined its subscriber plans; “Now there’s only one way to buy a device and one rate plan.”
Net operating revenue was $8.16 billion, up from $8.01 billion in Q2. Sprint projects 2017 guidance as $3.5 billion to $4 billion for cash capex. The company is focusing on network densification, including “expenses like towers” to enhance network capacity and coverage. “When you need new towers or monopoles, it takes time,” said Claure.
Sprint is pleased with the progress of its small cell infrastructure deployment of strand mount and “magic box” devices. The box is an all-wireless small cell. “We’re starting to see the impact of small cells on network performance — speeds are increasing,” said Claure.