Sprint Could Recover Quickly, Steal Customers Back From T-Mobile

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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With Sprint reportedly on the verge of drastically cutting its wireless pricing plans to better compete with its rivals, the industry is paying close attention to see if that will spur AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to match it or go even lower in what’s become an intense pricing war.

Also of note: If Sprint, which has started to slow its awful pace of subscriber losses, starts to grow its base, from which carrier will it steal them? Odds are on T-Mobile, at least for one analyst.

“I think Sprint will target customer groups from all larger and smaller competitors; however, I think we’ll see marketplace impact happen in waves," said industry analyst Jeff Kagan. “I think the first wave of Sprint success could come from companies like T-Mobile and smaller competitors, and less from AT&T and Verizon. It will take a quarter or two to determine whether Sprint is getting stronger and who they are taking business from."

As Sprint has floundered, T-Mobile has benefitted in the past year. Many of the Overland Park, Kansas-based carrier’s customers have made the switch to the Magenta Network, citing T-Mobile’s decision to eliminate two-year contracts as well as Sprint’s less-than-enviable network. But that network is improving, and new, lower prices might give subscribers a reason to jump back on the Sprint bandwagon.

Sprint has tested a number of different plans in select markets in recent months, including a $50 per month plan for unlimited talk, text and data — $30 less than a similar plan at T-Mobile. Other tests have included bigger data pools for families and discounts on lines for its “Framily" plan.

I believe the entire wireless industry is starting its next wave of transformation," added Kagan. “We’ve seen it with new packages and lower prices from AT&T. Verizon has followed in some of these areas. This is also good news for Sprint since a quality network and lower prices will attract a slice of the customer pie."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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