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Sprint Reorganizes Front Office In Preparation For Virgin Mobile Overhaul

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Major US wireless carrier Sprint has shuffled its front office in preparation for relaunching its prepaid arm Virgin Mobile. According to an official press release from the carrier, Jim Hyde will now head the Sprint Prepaid Group, while Dow Draper will become chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile.

Hyde had previously served as CEO at nTelos Wireless, Lumos Networks and T-Mobile UK, and now will be responsible for overseeing and implementing Sprint’s strategy across its prepaid brands, namely Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint Prepaid. As for Draper, he was formerly president of Sprint’s prepaid services business. But with the upcoming relaunch of the Virgin Mobile brand, Draper will now take the helm in guiding Virgin as it undergoes a major overhaul of its services. No definite relaunch strategy has been disclosed for Virgin yet, but details should become public in the next few months.

The market for prepaid mobile has increasingly become more competitive over the past year or so, and Sprint is certainly looking to regain some of its bearings. During the first three months of this year, Sprint registered a net loss of 264,000 prepaid users, a significant decrease from the 546,000 net additions it posted exactly a year before. While Sprint’s prepaid woes continue, competitors such as AT&T’s Cricket Wireless and T-Mobile’s MetroPCS keep on racking up prepaid customer additions. The intensifying competition has also helped in pulling down the overall postpaid ARPU (average revenue per user) over the last three years, while prepaid ARPU continues to make some progress, albeit modestly.

Interestingly, industry leader Verizon Wireless has decided not to put too much attention to prepaid, opting instead to focus on its postpaid business. Still, this does not mean an easy road for other carriers, especially Sprint who needs to regain some of the traction it lost in the prepaid market.


Source: Fierce Wireless

35 comments:

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  1. I completely agree that eventhough Verizon does not pay much attention to the prepaid business, Sprint needs to catch up as of yesterday. The infamous Tracfone/America Movil is a monster to beat in the prepaid world.

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  2. Not sure I understand the Virgin Mobile overhaul given that Boost is the bigger brand with retail locations and more plan options. If anything, Boost needs a massive overhaul because that brand and its urban base does not appeal to millennials. Nothing short of completely scrapping Boost and re-branding as Virgin will save them. The lack of BYOD makes Sprint prepaid 100% worthless.

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  3. Sprint's Native network is so bad that it is a turd not easily polished by fancy marketing.

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    1. Kind of like T-Mobile.....

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    2. I my limited experience using free FreedomPop and RingPlus service, Sprint works well with a triband LTE phone in metro areas with a population of one million or more.

      I've successfully tested my theory this year in San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and San Juan PR. In all four I had fast LTE everywhere I went. I've made or received Hangouts calls over LTE in San Francisco and San Juan and they were clear and free from noticeable latency.

      Outside of major metros, I've found Sprint generally unreliable.

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    3. Dennis, I've had similar results. However I've had trouble even on LTE with Hangouts calls to PSTN lines - robotic voice quality, choppiness,etc. Have these improved lately, it is it perhaps a function of the phone's CPU?

      Using other VOIP solutions over Sprint LTE has worked very well for me, but Hangouts is simpler if I can get it to be consistent.

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  4. Zach, T-Mobile gets a lot of traction pretending it is a real network. Sprint isn't even good at that.

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  5. I had virgin mobile for 5 years and its service here in nyc sucked. The network is always slow and if I left the Bronx service was crappy or none at all. Months ago I switched to cricket and their service is faster and reliable....never going back to virgin mobile...ever

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  6. virgin mobile ain't a virgin no more. just an old hag that no one wants anymore.

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  7. I like Verizon prepaid because of the great coverage. Price don't mean a thing if you can't use your phone.

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    1. You're getting ripped off. Total Wireless offers the same coverage for less. Price is everything if you're using prepaid.

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    2. However, it all comes at a price. Total wireless is horrible at customer service e.g. untrained reps that give you completely wrong information. I have had times where they don't add my airtime after entering my PINS. Ive spent countless hours with supervisors trying to get things corrected, so as Ive said, it all comes at a price.

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    3. "You're getting ripped off. Total Wireless offers the same coverage for less. Price is everything if you're using prepaid."

      No. Total Wireless looks good on paper. but the countless account of people going to sign up, and their system is broken and refuses new accounts can't be ignored.

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    4. Out of all America Movil companies total wireless has to be the worst. My data gets interrupted all the time and it takes me hours and numerous reps to get it corrected. They are all highly untrained and will lie to your face. For example today I called because my data stopped working. First, the lady told me that I didn't have a data plan. Then she said that I did have one but it couldn't be combined with the talk and text only plan when I had clearly used it before and it says so on the website.
      I then asked for a supervisor who told me the previous rep was wrong but the reason I didn't have internet access was because I had used all my data. That infuriated me since I know I have 8.95 GB of add on data.
      I asked to speak to a higher supervisor and this one finally updated my account and said sorry about the other two people giving you the wrong information.
      This whole process took over an hour and a half. Believe me guys, if I hadn't prepaid two months I would leave today. I will be going to selectel after this fiasco.

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  8. To Verizon their prepaid customer is a step child. They publicly admit they are not out to service prepaid subscribers. They want the postpaid customer because that's where the money is.

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    1. There's money everywhere. Operating a cell network has enormous fixed costs and very small marginal costs (not unlike an airline). If they can add a subscriber for $10/month, that's better than sending the plane with an empty seat.

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    2. I agree that there is money to be made everywhere but I don't think that Verizon executives value that fact.

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  9. Sprint Prepaid Group will have to do a lot to make itself more attractive again. Better rates , better dealer comp, more ads , and overhaul that weak to nonexistent byod! Make it so that SPG handsets can be used oneach other and the Sprint mvno eco system at least somewhat easier. And dropfinancial blacklisting of postpaid phones in 3 to 6 months , for as lomg as they are rendered permanently unusable, Sprint will NEVER see a penny from them EVER, but if they can go on an mvno or prepaid division they will potentially make SOMETHING from what would otherwise be an eternal paperweight...with arpu differences between postpaid and prepaid narrowing, even more of a reason...maybe even allow select SPG phones to graduatw to postpaid if certain criteria are met. And give mvnos better rates and start fighting as a single company rather then internally...If Sprint somehow integrates the relationshipsbetween their postpaid, prepaid and mvno sides (even though mvnos are separate companies), they could do a lot better but without leadership and unity they will simply continue to flail and fail...

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  10. I noticed while browsing the available phones for purchase on Virgin Mobile that the Boost Mobile icon shows up in the Firefox browser tab.

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  11. This Article left out the most important statements from Sprint that hint about the future of Virgin.

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    1. Do you mean (from the press release) "As CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, Draper will focus on the brand evolution to launch new, groundbreaking, best-in-class services to reach new market segments for Sprint...He and his team are charged with transforming the Virgin brand into a disruptive force in the wireless industry and align it more closely with the iconic global Virgin brand."

      To me, that's just marketing talk that Christine succinctly rephrased as "Draper will now take the helm in guiding Virgin as it undergoes a major overhaul of its services. No definite relaunch strategy has been disclosed for Virgin yet, but details should become public in the next few months."

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  12. "Verizon wants postpaid because that's where the money is"...Of course. Don't we all want the fatness of Verizon? They are currently the giant, but will soon cycle down in a few years, because they didn't embrace prepaid. When a company gets too "big too fail" that's the moment they start to fail, because innovation starts to decline. I am not a sprint,Tmo or affiliated customer, just saying.

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  13. The first three months?

    Huh, that's right around the time people found out Sprint was cracking down on RP's BYOD loophole.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if that's irony or coincidence, but the Malaysian six-finger death grip (of doom!) they have on device activations is definitely (and also ironically) pushing the more flexible, open-minded portion of consumers towards better networks, ones where they have more choices and freedom.

    After all, nobody wants their device tied down to a clingy, out of touch carrier with poor coverage.

    The real problem is ultimately a lack of humility on Sprint's part.

    If they were just honest with themselves about their customer prospects, and shifted to a more consumer-friendly outlook as an eager-to-please carrier-next-door, they'd at least have something to tout over the rest.

    Instead, they'll double down on business as usual and continue to fail.

    RIP Sprint. You dug your own grave.

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  14. I sometimes wish i could be the president over Verizon's prepaid division, i would certainly turn up the heat on the competition, i liked virgin mobile before, but lately the network of sprint has gone through many changes and you must get new phones constantly or get no signal

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    1. Boost Mobile now roams on all cdma networks across america, Verizon/viero wireless/cellular one etc.... So the coverage is actually the best in the country. All customers recieve free nationwie roaming. And in the cites have you seen the new sprint comercials with the verizon "can you hear me now guy" all the networks are very similar now and I have been using boost unlimited plan with my iphone 6s and I get LTE everywhere I go in denver metro and get coverage in mountains when I go fishing.

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    2. Boost roaming is 50 roaming voice minutes, unlimited roaming texts as long as you don't run out of roaming minutes, no roaming data. A current (not grandfathered) plan is required and roaming only works with some phones.

      I'm surprised you can roam with an iPhone, according to Boost, domestic roaming is not available with iPhones. See: Domestic Roaming - Boost Nobile

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    3. Unknown said: " So the coverage is actually the best in the country. All customers recieve free nationwide roaming."

      No, that is really a false claim! With a few exceptions. Boost data is limited to the Sprint network: only a small area of the country. So Boost data coverage is bad.

      As for roaming talk, you only get a few minutes on the best network.

      Due the the poor Sprint coverage, Boost coverage is WAY behind. Selectel is MUCH better: its data and talk and text ALL roam completely on Verizon. Cricket has better coverage, too. So does h2o. MetroPCS has more coverage also since T-Mobile has pulled ahead of Sprint.

      So, not only does Boost not have the best coverage, its coverage is behind all of the Verizon and AT&T divisions and MNVO's and and anything from T-Mobile.

      It is way down on the list.

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  15. first, sprint should just have only one prepaid brand, and concentrate on that. second, stop downloading bloatware ( boost/vrgin/sprint zone, connection optimizer, mobile id, cartoon voice,ail, etc) to customer phones without permission. third, just sell service. enable any phone to be used on any service. banning a boost phone from vm or sprint postpaid is just suicide from a business revenue position. as long as sprint is being run by idiots, it will continue to fail.

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  16. Sprint is the only company I would not try at all.

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    1. I'd rather try them than T-Mobile.

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    2. I tried Sprint coverage once when karma offered the all you can surf hot spot plan that lasted like fifteen minutes. The reception and LTE was actually pretty good in my area. I never had any problems with it.

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  17. San Juan?!?! u come to PR and dint let me know, just hope u have some mofongo, PuertoRican Fan here thanks for youre page simply put outstanding daily info.

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  18. I honestly don't know how Sprint can provide service with such a small and scattered network. They should be absorbed by a larger network.

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    1. Honestly? 280 Million people in the USA get Sprint service where they live, work and play. Roaming extends the Sprint network further. What don't you understand?

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    2. "Honestly? 280 Million people in the USA get Sprint service where they live, work and play. Roaming extends the Sprint network further. What don't you understand?"

      I don't "understand" your statement because it is false. Sprint currently covers around a third of the country. Americans live,work,and play in the entire area of the lower 48 states. Sprint only covers them in a small part of this.

      It would be correct to say that "Sprint covers all Americans who live in the lower 48 if they happen to live/work/play in a small part of the territory"

      Roaming extends Sprint's poor coverage only slightly. Please don't misrepresent this as you are doing with everything else. There is some roaming on Verizon (which covers Americans in most places where they live work or play: a decided difference compared to Sprint). But this roaming is very few minutes, very little data. Quite miserly.

      Nice try, but you are either intentionally lying, or have no idea what you are talking about. The Sprint prepaid/MVNO map comes from Sprint... and it is their most recent one. It shows coverage in only a small area of where Americans live/work/play. I'd trust Sprint over a fanboy who either through intentional deceit or ignorance presents Sprint coverage as being more than twice what it is.

      The rest of us, concerned with facts instead of fanboy tall takes, can look at Sprint's map and ask two questions.

      1) Do I live in the small area covered by Sprint?
      2) Am I 100% sure I won't be traveling out of the Sprint coverage area into most of the US (which is Sprint-free).

      If question 1 is Yes. and question 2 does not matter. then you are good to use Sprint as a landline replacement. Regardless of Sprint's suitability of a landline replacement in a small area of the country, Sprint is a poor 4th choice as a MOBILE service. The phones connected to its service are simply useless in most places Americans live, work, or play. You can't get around this fact.

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