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Sprint may lease cell towers on public lands to lower costs

Matt Hamblen | Jan. 27, 2016
Carrier cites US$836 million loss for the quarter, but reports increase in postpaid subscribers.

Given recent high marks from third-party network assessment companies like Nielsen and Root Metrics, Claure said "there has never been a better time to give Sprint a try." The company also extended by a month a plan giving 50% off competitors' rates.

The earnings report bolstered Sprint's stock price by 20% by mid-day Tuesday, reaching $3.06 at noon ET. The stock had fallen to $2.45 on Jan. 20 after news of the tower leasing plans was first reported.

Sprint said Tuesday it expects to see $2 billion in expense reductions by the end of March 2017. In October, Sprint said it was likely to cut its 31,000-member workforce to make up part of the savings. The company recently cut 2,500 jobs, according to the Kansas City Star and other estimates.

"Sprint is making progress with net subscriber additions and probably will continue to do so for the next several quarters," said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. "An improved network at rock bottom prices attracts more customers."

However, Entner warned that moving the network to less expensive cell tower sites could affect network quality. "It all depends on execution, and in the past Sprint didn't execute well," he said.


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