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Sprint Taking 'Wait-and-See' Approach to Phone Financing

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Feb 7, 2013, 9:07 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse today said that company is paying attention to what its competitors are doing with respect to handset financing. For example, T-Mobile has announced plans to change its subsidy model to a financing model, requiring customers to make a downpayment for a new handset at the initiation of a new contract followed by monthly payments for the device on top of the contract cost. For the moment, Sprint has no immediate plans to change the way it subsidizes handsets. If Sprint's competitors are successful with their monthly installment plans, however, then Sprint could move quickly to adopt the financing model. Most wireless network operators offer handsets at discounts called subsidies. The carrier hopes to recoup the subsidy over the course of the contract. Reducing handset subsidies, especially for costly devices such as Apple's iPhone, could help Sprint improve its finances. Sprint also noted that it expects to be "competitive" with AT&T and Verizon Wireless with respect to its LTE 4G network by the second half of the year. It expects to cover about 200 million POPs with LTE by the end of 2013 or early 2014.

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Feb 7, 2013, 1:19 PM

what I took out of this is....

that sprint will ultimately end subsudies, and go for the financing method. It's a good move. I think that eventually, all providers will follow. We'll probably just get to the point where the carriers are cut out of the device buying, and they'll just offer the service.

Until the FCC puts up the nationwide WiFi network they keep talking about, that has the US wireless carriers and cable/broadband companies pooping bricks

I think carriers are just sick and tired of getting screwed over by customers who get a steep discount on a device, then cancel service a couple months later and take the device to another carrier....
"We'll probably just get to the point where the carriers are cut out of the device buying, and they'll just offer the service. "

This would be the best thing that could happen to the industry.
Woah - Nationwide WIFI? I've never heard anything about this before.

Would this even work? The 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands are unlicensed, if they set up a powerful nationwide wifi network, there will be HUGE interference issues. I'd really, really be i...
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