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