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Even Sprint Beat AT&T and Verizon in Customer Growth (cnet.com) 78

Customers are turning to Sprint again. From a report on CNET: In fact, they're starting to look to the nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier over stalwarts like AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The company said it added 405,000 net new post-paid subscribers -- people who pay at the end of the month and tend to be more loyal. Of that total, 368,000 were phone customers, Sprint's highest rate of growth in four years. The numbers suggest Sprint is starting to pull itself out of a death spiral, reversing years of losses, customers faced with poor service and a network that lagged behind the competition. Sprint's customer growth came at a time when all the carriers were aggressive with holiday promotions. It's a trend that will likely continue, resulting in more potential deals for consumers. "Sprint is turning the corner," CEO Marcelo Claure said in the company's fiscal third-quarter report on Tuesday.
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Even Sprint Beat AT&T and Verizon in Customer Growth

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    But that doesn't really sound like news for nerds, or stuff that matters. It actually looks more like Sprint marketing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just wait until those poor bastards get their first bill and have to spend hours getting it straight, then the same thing keeps happening every month.

      • That's me. With Verizon. Now.

      • Sprint was my very first wireless provider, about fifteen years ago. Every single fucking month they'd hit me with bogus charges and every fucking month I'd have to spend hours on the phone with their serfs getting it sorted out. It was obvious that upper management at Sprint had figured out that these "mistaken" extraneous fees were worth hitting their customers with as not all of them would've taken the time to fight the charges.
        • There were some winners and some losers for that. For about two years, I had the same discount applied twice by accident (came out to about 34% off). When some audit system finally caught it, I got a form letter apologizing profusely for the 2 years of billing errors "I had to endure". It's true, the extra cash in my wallet was little heavy to carry...

  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @12:42PM (#53775239)
    This [cnn.com] must be the reason. It's the only thing that makes sense!
  • Then they will do like all the rest and kill those deals off as time goes by, and then those customers will flip back to AT&T/Verizon. Just another merry-go-round.

    • I don't know why people use sprint when the sprint MNVO's seem to be better in price and offer the same service.

      There's two MNVO phone companies that use Sprint towers (and some t-mobile towers) that I suspect are growing fast. One is Republic Wireless and the other is Freedompop. If you don't use your phone a lot then freedom pop is totally free. Republic wireless just reshuffled their plans but up until recently unlimited calling and texting was $10 a month. That plan is now only available on some ha

      • You're forgetting about Ting. If you don't use your phone that much, it's quite cheap. And customer service is excellent. I am, however, looking at switching to Republic Wireless because of the unlimited calls and texts, as my usage of these has gone way up lately due to a new girlfriend. But Ting is still a great option IMO and I recommend checking it out.

        But your general point is great: why does anyone bother with the traditional carriers any more? There's many dozens of MVNOs out there, for all the

        • Also, Project Fi.

          • Project Fi sucks; it's a Google service, and it only uses Google's own Nexus and Pixel phones. I'm sorry, a phone service that only lets you use one of a grand total of 3 phones is not a very good option unless you're a giant Google fan. You really should point out this fact about them any time you recommend them, as it's a huge caveat.

            Republic Wireless is similar, though not quite as bad. They have a very limited selection of phones they'll work with, generally very new and expensive ones. If I wanted

      • The problem with Republic Wireless is that you're locked into using their phones or an extremely limited number of others; you can't just bring any device like you can with other MVNOs.

  • by MountainLogic ( 92466 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @12:50PM (#53775305) Homepage
    Seems like everyone who is ever likely to have a cell phone (+/- births/deaths) already have one. This is just some banal market share sight: pepsi/coke, Ford/GM. Who cares?
    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      Saturated markets can still have movement of swaths of customers between competing providers.
      • Saturated markets can still have movement of swaths of customers between competing providers.
        Indeed, but is that news for tech nerds? Finance nerds, perhaps.
        • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )

          Saturated markets can still have movement of swaths of customers between competing providers. Indeed, but is that news for tech nerds? Finance nerds, perhaps.

          Not just finance nerds, which I am not. But still of interest to me, if for no other reason than of the big 4 mobile providers, it is Sprint I like the most. In order of best to worst:

          1 Sprint - about as good as a root canal
          2 T-Mo - better than having your fingernails ripped off, but not much
          3 Verizon - pretty much equal to having your testicals raked across molten salt and nibbled on by piranahs
          4 At&T - Smells like shit, tastes like shit, treats everyone like shit, I am sort of surprised they wo

          • by tim620 ( 1052986 )
            I would completely flip your list. Mostly because Sprint has no 4G in my area and constantly drops calls. We don't have TMobile, so we are left with Verizon and AT&T. (and cheap carriers and prepaids who use their towers). If Sprint were not shitty here and if we had TMobile, I would likely agree with your list, although lately I've been partial to GSM phones (AT&T / TMobile). They are much nicer to travel internationally with.
            • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
              In reality I use Project FI. GSM is typically easier to travel with. I used to keep an old GSM phone around just for that when I was a Ting customer (Sprint only MVNO at the time). With Fi I ride Sprint or T-Mo on a nexus 6 that supports GSM and CDMA. Makes it pretty simple.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @01:01PM (#53775405) Homepage

    Only reason I stick with AT&T is their 4G LTE coverage and the civilized function of being able to use DATA whine in a call. Verizon and their archaic system that disallows data during a call needs to be thrown out.

    Problem is Sprint uses the same technology as Verizon.

    • Is there really a use case for having data while in a phone call? Do you really want to get an e-mail notification or listen/watch streaming content while talking to someone on the phone?

      If it is a huge concern, just use a VoIP client (Facetime, Skype, etc).

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @01:23PM (#53775573) Homepage

        Is there really a use case for having data while in a phone call?

        Load a document, discuss an email that was just sent, review an image for approval, look up nearby restaurants to decide where to eat lunch, put in an online order for carry out as your wife tells you what she wants over the phone...

        They're all things that I've done in the recent past and I'm hardly a power business cell phone user. Sure they all could have been done by ending the call, performing whatever task, then calling back. But why not do it while they're on the line if you can?

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        Talk with your travel partner, drag up reservations/whatever while talking.

      • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @01:30PM (#53775657)

        Is there really a use case for having data while in a phone call?

        I imagine the practical use cases are few, but I have seen a co-worker use Google Maps while on a call productively.

      • Trying to decide where to meet for lunch while on the phone and you want to look at a map or check yelp.

      • by imidan ( 559239 )

        Is there really a use case for having data while in a phone call?

        I often tether my laptop to my phone while traveling. While tethered, and using data on my laptop, I'd still like to be able to make and receive phone calls.

      • Perhaps it might not be a terrible idea for one's GPS app to be able to receive emergency alerts while one is talking...???
      • I connect to webex presentations all the time, the picture comes through data, but you can route the call through voice.

        I google search stuff all the time if there is a question in a call... I add stuff to the grocery list while talking to my wife about it... I have my tablet connected to my wifi hotspot while I order Chinese food... I mean, constant and ubiquitous internet access is expected, why would it halt just because I am using the phone?
    • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @01:26PM (#53775623) Journal

      I think your facts need updating. As a Verizon customer, I can use data during calls and have been able to do so for years. It's true that you can't use data during a voice call if you're on a 3G tower, but the only place I see those anymore is while at government offices [wikipedia.org].

      • Or...you can also find 3G towers everywhere that is not a major metropolitan area. Like the country. Where...lots of people still live.

        • Verizon's 4G coverage is about as good as it gets when it comes to cellular providers. Take a look at their current coverage maps for 4G. I was definitely using data and making phone calls as far back as 2010 on a smartphone.

          I'm going to get laughed at, but after living abroad for a few years now i've come to miss Verizon. Mobile phone carriers in Europe absolutely suck. I can't get consistent service in the middle of my office building. Driving through the countryside makes streaming music a nightmare bec

        • Or... any metropolitan area. There are a TON of non-volte capable phones out there that still fall back to 3G for voice calls.
    • Problem is Sprint uses the same technology as Verizon.

      On the other hand... I use Ting [ting.com] with a CDMA phone (Kyocera Hydro Vibe) and the underlying network is Sprint. However, they also have a roaming agreement with Verizon for out-of-Sprint coverage. Also noting that you can get GSM phones from Ting, which (I believe) uses the T-Mobile network.

      I'm not a heavy phone/text/data user so Ting's block pricing works well for me. So far, the coverage seems to be pretty wide and reliable. My monthly bill seems to alternate between $13 and $17 (and change). My highe

    • Verizon and their archaic system that disallows data during a call needs to be thrown out.

      Oh my. That hasn't been true since phones got 4G LTE.

      See, CDMA won the GSM vs CDMA war. GSM used TDMA - each phone took turns talking to the tower, so bandwidth is divided by the number of phones even if some (or most) of those phones don't have anything to transmit. CDMA allows each phone to transmit simultaneously. The tower tells them apart because each is assigned an orthogonal code. Each phone see other p

      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 @03:26PM (#53776479) Homepage Journal

        CDMA won the GSM vs CDMA war

        No, it didn't. The word CDMA can be two things: a mobile phone standard (IS-95 and its successors), and a type of technology.

        GSM is a family of mobile phone standards.

        So if GSM and CDMA got into a war, you must be comparing GSM with IS-95 and its successors. IS-95 is mostly dead. Sprint and Verizon still operate legacy networks, but they're transitioning to the latest version of GSM, which is called LTE.

        GSM used TDMA..

        The first iteration of GSM originally used TDMA. Version "3", UMTS, used W-CDMA, whose low level protocols (not high level protocols) are similar to IS-95 (etc)'s low level protocols. At a high level, however, the two standards are completely unalike. Version 4 of GSM, LTE, uses OFDMA and SC-FDMA at the lowest levels, which are not remotely similar to anything in IS-95 or its successor.

        All mobile phone operators in the US right now are transitioning to LTE, a GSM standard. CDMA - both the mobile phone standard (IS-95 etc) and the air interface technology are considered obsolete, and the two remaining major operators of IS-95/etc networks are moving off it.

        All of you hating on CDMA should actually be thanking it. If the U.S. hadn't allowed CDMA to compete...

        Yeah yeah. That fucking idiot Steve DeBeste posted this libercrapian propaganda for the longest time, it was wrong when he said it, and it's wrong now. There was never a ban on CDMA systems outside of the US, or even in the EU. Vodafone actually experimented with it in the UK, deciding it was inferior (because it was) to conventional GSM.

        Qualcomm's lobbying, and the US's lobbying on behalf of it, actually held the industry back. The lobbying pretty much forced the 3GPP designing UMTS to include a CDMA air interface, rather than jump straight to more capable protocols based upon OFDMA. We could have had much more power efficient devices with better latency and more scalability 10-15 years ago, but Qualcomm decided it was a giant conspiracy that nobody wanted their system outside of cost-cutting US carriers.

    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

      Only reason I stick with AT&T is their 4G LTE coverage and the civilized function of being able to use DATA whine in a call. Verizon and their archaic system that disallows data during a call needs to be thrown out.

      Verizon's archaic VoLTE [verizonwireless.com] capability that lets you use DATA while in a call, that I used just last week, you mean?

      That feature was introduced in late 2014. Sounds more like your knowledge is archaic.

  • Sprint is great....if you live in a city where Sprint has 4G, if you don't travel in rural areas, and if you don't travel internationally. I tried Sprint a few years ago to save money. However, I quickly discovered (should have asked more questions, instead of making assumptions) that they do not have 4G in my city (as far as I know, they still don't). I also travel in rural areas, about once a month, to visit relatives. I had frequent dropped calls (and sometimes no calls) while in rural areas. Also,
    • Actually Sprint is great if you do travel internationally. They have unlimited global data (though only 3G speeds outside US/Canada) and texting at no additional charge. There's also some sort of $5/month pro-ratable plan that upgrades you to unlimited full speed data/talk/text in some countries, if you ask for it they'll automatically add/take it off during your stay. It ended up being their saving grace for me because their in-store customer service is abysmal.

      • by tim620 ( 1052986 )
        Actually Sprint and Verizon (CDMA) are crap, if you travel internationally. I'm not sure where you traveled, but international (outside of Canada, USA and Mexico) voice and data are expensive on Sprint (at least in SE Asia). The beauty of having unlocked GSM phones is that you can purchase a cheap local SIM card in whatever country you are in and get great 4G (sometimes it drops to 3G) data and free local calls.
        • I just told you they are NOT expensive on Sprint, since mid 2015 or so it is no additional charge. I've used it in four different countries in SE Asia and Oceania. Proof: Sprint Global Roaming [sprint.com]. If you're going to "correct" me please do some research first.

          • by tim620 ( 1052986 )
            I traveled to Malaysia last year (2016). And I was still on Sprint. So, yes, I did research Sprint before I left. Perhaps their global roaming doesn't seem expensive to you, but, it does to me. $0.20 per minute voice and only 2G for free? 3G speeds in Malaysia cost $50 for 2 weeks and 500GB limit. To me, that is expensive. I ended up bringing an unlocked GSM phone and buy a local prepaid SIM card. For about $20, I had 9GB of 4G data for 30 days and free local voice and text. Unlocked GSM (on AT
  • All you have to do is not adopt the same bullshit-fee and fuck-you-charge "sales" model that Verizon and AT&T have been using in recent times to essentially demonstrate their corporate arrogance and ability to fuck over their customers in the name of pure unadulterated greed.

    TL; DR - Don't become a greedy prick, because competition still exists.

  • I just recently (August - September) completed a way too in depth review of T-Mobile and Sprint for my personal use. I'm a long time AT&T customer, and a happy one, but I was switching to a BYOD phone and thought I might find equal service for a lower price elsewhere. Of the three (ATT, TMOB and Sprint) Sprint's coverage didn't appear to come close, international plans were definitely not as good, and the pricing was no better. TMOB was very close to ATT, and I especially liked VoLTE and WiFi calling on

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