Sprint forecasts 6 percent drop in revenue

Sprint Nextel, after hemorrhaging subscribers throughout 2008, is predicting a 6 percent drop in wireless service revenue in 2009.

The carrier, which lost 1.3 million total customers in the fourth quarter of 2008, is also predicting that if subscriber losses continue at the same pace as last year, the company will see an additional 5 percent drop in wireless revenue. The forecasts were made in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that Sprint made this past Friday.

Sprint lost 5.1 million subscribers in 2008, and wireless revenue fell by $3.1 billion, or 32 percent, as compared to 2007. When the carrier reported its fourth quarter earnings Feb. 19, revenue fell to $35.64 billion, down 11.2 percent from revenue of $40.15 billion in the year-ago quarter.   

The carrier said in January that it was laying off 8,000 employees in an effort to cut costs and save $1.2 billion annually. Sprint has also tried other efforts to retain customers, including offering wireless plans with perks for loyal customers and a new series of flat-rate, unlimited plans for Nextel Direct Connect customers. 

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