Sprint lost 348,000 postpaid phone subs in its final quarter

Sprint
There's speculation that T-Mobile pre-reported Sprint's final earnings because the sale of Sprint's Boost brand to Dish is imminent. (Monica Alleven/FierceWireless)

T-Mobile pre-released some of Sprint’s final numbers in advance of its first quarter 2020 earnings report this week, which will be the first combined report for T-Mobile and Sprint.

During the first quarter, Sprint lost 348,000 postpaid handset subscribers, and postpay churn increased 1.86% year over year, according to an SEC filing.

Prepaid net losses were 10,000, and prepaid churn increased 4.41%. Overall, total end-of-period Sprint connections were 54.7 million, up slightly from last year's 54.5 million.

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T-Mobile and Sprint completed their merger on April 1. T-Mobile said the standalone Sprint results were calculated using Sprint's pre-merger reporting policies, and it plans to release Sprint's stand-alone final financial results later in May once an audit is completed. It noted that “the customer results presented here will end up being materially lower once T-Mobile reporting policies are applied and Sprint prepaid brands are divested.”

Analysts didn’t seem too concerned about Sprint’s weak numbers for its final quarter.

Prepaid brands

Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote, “There was speculation this was reported now because the sale of the prepay operations (Boost) to Dish could be close.” 

In the meantime, before that $1.4 billion sale of Boost to Dish happens, T-Mobile is doing a lot of housecleaning and consolidating in regard to its prepaid retail businesses. It’s been closing hundreds of its Metro by T-Mobile prepaid stores.

RELATED: T-Mobile closing hundreds more Metro stores: reports

When Dish Network buys Boost, Dish will run Boost on T-Mobile’s network. Analysts surmise that as long as Boost subscribers are running on T-Mobile’s network, garnering wholesale revenues for T-Mobile, there’s no reason for T-Mobile to keep Metro stores open next door to Boost stores.

T-Mobile’s network

T-Mobile is moving forward with its transition to the New T-Mobile at a steady clip. Former CEO John Legere recently left the T-Mobile board of directors earlier than expected.

RELATED: T-Mobile’s network build ‘on track’ despite COVID-19

The company’s new CEO Mike Sievert has grabbed the reins. Even though he’s taken over during the unfortunate time of the coronavirus. Sievert has said that COVID-19 is not going to slow T-Mobile down.

“We believe T-Mobile U.S. has a tremendous opportunity here to run with its messaging,” wrote Fritzsche. “With that big empty plane of spectrum, T-Mobile could come to the market with a compelling plan that could put the pressure on the largest two incumbents. But key to all this is to get moving on 2.5 GHz (fast). In this regard, Neville Ray and Dr. John Saw are arguably the most crucial players in the C-suite right now.”

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