Aggressive new pricing plans. That’s the story coming from new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. But can he make the company a true contender?
At an all-company meeting on Thursday, Claure outlined three priorities for the new Sprint. He’ll focus on cutting prices, making improvements, and slashing operational costs.
"We're going to change our plans to make sure they are simple and attractive and make sure every customer in America thinks twice about signing up to a competitor," he said, adding that "very disruptive" rate places are coming next week, according to a report in Light Reading. "When you have a great network, you don’t have to compete on price. "When your network is behind, unfortunately you have to compete on value and price."
Shaking Up the Industry
We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his take on the news. He told us the “very disruptive” prices are just the beginning of the excitement.
“Marcelo Claure has only been CEO of Sprint for a few days,” he said, “but already it sounds like he is getting ready to start shaking things up in the wireless industry.”
Is Sprint really about to make some serious industry waves? Kagan believes Sprint can turn itself around under Claure’s leadership as quickly as T-Mobile did under CEO John Legere’s leadership if . . .
What’s the if? If, Kagan said, Sprint takes the right steps ahead. Kagan is predicting this “very disruptive” pricing is the first of many shots Claure is getting ready to fire at T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon.
T-Mobile Copy Cat?
“Claure says the first thing Sprint will do is cut prices,” Kagan said. “That will be followed by completing the network rebuild, reducing operational costs and hopefully reintroducing the refreshed Sprint brand on the nation’s wireless stage.”
As Kagan sees it, Claure’s goal is to make changes to the company’s wireless plan that are both simple and attractive. This would mirror T-Mobile’s strategy, at least in part. But is it too much change too fast for the wireless giant?
“Sprint has been through many changes in the last several years. Previous CEO Dan Hesse saved the company when he arrived six years ago. He stopped the bleeding and now Sprint is stable,” Kagan said. “This is the base that new CEO Claure is going to launch the new Sprint from.”
Waiting for the New Sprint
What Sprint will look like a year from now in a Claure era is anybody’s guess, especially considering the rapid pace of innovation in the industry. What seems clear, even in the early days of Claure’s reign, is that Sprint will look different -- perhaps much, much different.
“Sprint will be a much more aggressive and forward-thinking company. If successful, it will play a role in changing the wireless industry going forward,” Kagan said. "For now we just sit and wait to see what Sprint is about to introduce in the first step of their coming out party. I am not sure either, but we may be getting ready for the beginning of the Sprint comeback launch.”
Posted: 2014-08-17 @ 2:14pm PT
"Sprint will be a much more aggressive and forward-thinking company."
Hopefully that means Sprint's switching to VoLTE. If Sprint did, they'd be the first carrier to completely switch over to VoLTE which would dramatically cut costs while improving data bandwidth at the same time.
Posted: 2014-08-17 @ 1:41pm PT
I had Sprint many years, I believe more than 10 years. We had four phones and the phone service was good. The bad thing was the price, always expensive.
Finally we decided to change. We went to another prepaid that belong to Sprint but had better prices. Well, the service started to get bad. Finally we could not use it anymore for having bad connectivity.
We switched again. As of today we have METRO PCS, this brand gave us something amazing. Four phones with no limit on calls, no limit on texts, and no limit on data. Our bill? $100.00 a month for the four phones. Yes, it is correct $100.00 monthly for unlimited everything. I want to add that T-MOBILE has the same plans. One thing, you should be checking their advertising, it happens from time to time when you can get those plans. The last thing: I have another phone called FREEDOM POP that uses the same Sprint network, but it is a fiasco. Do not fall by mistake like I did with FREEDOM POP. I got a refurbished phone that works rarely, and they will not take it back.
Posted: 2014-08-17 @ 12:54pm PT
Will Sprint keep their unlimited data plan?
We switched 2 of 5 phones from Verizon to Sprint for this sole reason. Our other 3 phones are currently with Verizon and we are planning to switch over to Sprint ONLY IF we get unlimited data. If Sprint eliminates unlimited data then all carriers seem virtually the same. That is the X- factor for us. What do you think?
Posted: 2014-08-16 @ 7:27pm PT
I don't know anything about Claure but I do know something about Sprint. I have been a customer for 20 years with the same three phone numbers for that entire time. My last contract with them will expire in November of 2014. They have lied to me on a number of occasions as though it were a matter of company policy and then lied again to try to cover up the first lies. In spite of my contracts my bill has risen to the point where it is $200/month for three phones and the increases occurred during the contract periods with no notification to me - ever. Tech Support is an oxymoron with these folks. The level of competence decreased in direct proportion to the level of arrogance over the last five years. They bleed customers and the mantra becomes, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling."
In a phrase - a collection of incompetent widgets. When you use business models that come from businesses that have failed then failure is the only possible conclusion.
Posted: 2014-08-16 @ 4:37pm PT
Sprint took me for a ride. I agreed to $70 a month maximum. They loaded the phone with all kinds of applications that either were in my way or I clicked on then to see what they were. To make this story short, they ran my bill up over $250 a month. I had not used much data either.
Posted: 2014-08-16 @ 4:36pm PT
I had Sprint for 12 years and the service was great; however, when the android phone came out, customer service stated there was no way to support smartphone 3g customers on the android platform based upon the plan I had. They told me the only way to continue service was to buy used product from the secondary market. I even wrote into the CEO's customer satisfaction team.They said so sorry, too bad. At the time, I was paying $120 per month for 2 phones, unlimited data on the primary, sharing 2000 minutes and paying 25 cents per sms. I said fine, I left and went to PagePlus on Verizon's network for $30, 1200 minutes, 500 mb data and 3000 sms messages. I've been very well satisfied and never looked back upon leaving Sprint. Sprint became arrogant and greedy. They lost a very good customer.
Posted: 2014-08-16 @ 12:14pm PT
How about integrity? Remember the $69.95/month debacle? Unlimited text and data? I fell for it and went through a nightmare to get out from under exorbitant bills from day one! I got Saturday calls from management that were, in my opinion, threatening in tone. Dan Henne ignored me. Only when I wrote to the FCC commission directly, w/cc's to Consumerist.com did Sprint cancel those exorbitant bills. Trust Sprint again? Why??
Posted: 2014-08-16 @ 10:24am PT
As a Sprint customer, I hope Sprint becomes an uncarrier with no contractual agreements and less expensive plans. It's long overdue. It's time for the wireless industry to realize that having a mobile phone shouldn't be so complicated. It's all some people have for communication. When you buy a phone you should just be able to buy one without spending days picking out a carrier just cause they want to empty your bank account. Let's move people. It's time for a change.
Posted: 2014-08-16 @ 9:23am PT
Sprint lost me as a customer to T-Mobile years ago and I will never look back. Too bad they didn't think about taking care of their customers years ago. Now they have a bad reputation that I won't invest in again.