Could 5G Turn Sprint’s Fortunes Around?


May. 30 2019, Published 2:33 p.m. ET

Sprint’s 5G network launching soon

Sprint (S) is just days away from activating its 5G mobile network. Mobile devices capable of connecting to Sprint’s 5G network will begin shipping on May 31, allowing customers in more than half a dozen cities across the United States to access blazing-fast mobile Internet speeds that rival cable broadband.

Sprint is set to beat T-Mobile (TMUS) in activating its 5G network. T-Mobile is eyeing the launch of its 5G network in the second half of the year.

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Sprint has lost lucrative customers

Sprint has been struggling to grow its customer base and its revenue, with the company warning that a failure to secure the approval of its merger deal with T-Mobile could leave it in bad shape. Sprint shed 189,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the March quarter, the steepest loss in the customer category since 2015. In contrast, T-Mobile added 656,000 customers, and AT&T (T) added 80,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the first quarter, respectively. Sprint exited the quarter with less than 54.5 million wireless subscribers overall, down from more than 54.6 million subscribers a year earlier.

5G promises a wider market for Sprint

Could Sprint’s 5G launch turn its fortunes around for the better? The arrival of 5G connectivity is expected to expand the business opportunity for mobile operators in the enterprise market. As more companies embrace cloud computing and enterprise mobility, they’re going to need faster wireless connections, and 5G promises just that.

Apple has teamed up with SAP (SAP), IBM (IBM), and Adobe (ADBE) to build business applications that can be used with iPhones and iPads, thereby supporting the growth of enterprise mobility. For Sprint, therefore, 5G has the potential to expand its market.


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