"We know we have to go through this," he said in an interview. "And it's a balancing act. We have beaten Street estimates on earnings. And we're being disciplined in terms of going after customers to maximize profitability now. We know we can't wait until the network phase is over to do that. But then we can come out and make a much larger difference."Painful migration. While some customers are leaving the Sprint Nextel network altogether as part of this transition, Sprint is spending a significant amount of energy and money to get the old Nextel customers to stick around and migrate to the Sprint's 3G EV-DO and 4G LTE networks.
"Right now, we're focused on recapturing as many Nextel and iDEN subscribers as we can," Hesse said, "Because of the deactivation of this network, we saw 30 percent of the customers leaving the iDEN platform this quarter."Because of the emphasis to get customers off this platform to make room for new services like LTE, Hesse explained there would be something wrong if the total number of subscribers didn't go down in the quarter as a result of this move, But the good news is that Sprint has seen big success in moving those old Nextel customers to the Sprint network, About 59 percent of the customers leaving Nextel this quarter migrated to mid century modern geometric abstract radiating lines iphone case Sprint's existing networks, This helped boost the total number of gross additions to 900,000 on the Sprint infrastructure, But since roughly 40 percent of the Nextel customers did leave the Sprint brand, it resulted in negative subscriber growth for the company..
But Hesse emphasized that this has been factored into the company's plans. "These customer losses have been expected. It's by design," Hesse explained. "Because of the value of this spectrum we have to move people off it, and re-purpose that spectrum, so it can be used for Network Vision."Hesse also explained that the company has been careful not to spend too much money or effort recruiting new customers to the Sprint network this quarter, because it wants to get further in its Network Vision migration. He said that it's important for Sprint to be able to digest the customers it is adding from Nextel as it accelerates its efforts to move customers away from the iDEN network.
"We are being very disciplined in how we do this," he said, "The additional customers we add, also adds capacity requirements to the existing network, And as we put new equipment in the network, we'd much rather put those customers on Network Vision infrastructure than on the legacy networks."The focus on migrating Nextel customers has another benefit for the company, Hesse said on the call with analysts, It's also less expensive to market and recruit customers it already has a relationship with to the Sprint Network than it is for the company to go out and acquire new mid century modern geometric abstract radiating lines iphone case customers from rivals..
A stronger Sprint. Hesse wouldn't talk specifically about the deal, but he noted that the its relationship with Softbank will give the company more resources to invest in the network and catch up with its competitors. Hesse admitted that Verizon has an advantage today with its LTE network, which currently covers some 400 markets nationwide. But he said that this advantage is only temporary. Sprint has been busy deploying networks, too. It now has 32 LTE markets deployed, and it's already begun construction in another 200 markets. Even though he said the company has faced some delays with some network equipment vendors, he doesn't expect the majority of the LTE deployments to be pushed back. And those that are delayed are not expected to be delayed more than a quarter, he said. CNET reported Wednesday that some large cities may not see LTE service until March.