As competition among cellular carriers intensified recently, Sprint Nextel has struggled to grow its business. The companyï¿¼s future direction may be foreshadowed in its decision to purchase Virgin Mobile USA, however if that is the case, Sprint Nextel services may become less attractive to small and medium businesses.
As competition among cellular carriers intensified recently, Sprint Nextel has struggled to grow its business. The companyï¿¼s future direction may be foreshadowed in its decision to purchase Virgin Mobile USA, however if that is the case, Sprint Nextel services may become less attractive to small and medium businesses.At one time, Sprint was a thriving carrier whose leading edge technology, buoyed by its sharp focus on meeting the needs of business customers. However as consumersï¿¼ interests evolved to drive the cellular market, the company encountered a series of management missteps that resulted in an executive revolving door. While competitors such as AT&T and Verizon have been growing their customer bases, Sprint lost more than 4 million customers in the past year. Its 35.4 million subscriber base is now less than half of the marketï¿¼s top two players. So, what is the company to do?
Sprintï¿¼s purchase of Virgin Mobile USA is designed to boost the companyï¿¼s prepaid subscriber business, Boost Mobile. This business unit came along with Nextel, when Sprint acquired the wireless carrier in 2005. Unlike its core cellular business, Sprintï¿¼s prepaid wireless business has been experiencing steady growth. In fact, the business unit was expected to cross the 10 million customer mark later this year. Adding Virgin Mobile USAï¿¼s 4 million customers positions Sprint as leading supplier of prepaid wireless services. While the carrier is happy to garner such a market position, it does not mesh with the companyï¿¼s core business. The primary users of the companyï¿¼s prepaid services are adolescents, but the carrierï¿¼s core business comes from business customers.
So Sprintï¿¼s long term strategy remains scattershot. The carrier had been an early supporter of WiMAX technology but scaled back support for that emerging wireless network option. There has been talk about the company being acquired (T-Mobile has been mentioned as a possible candidate), but there has not been much merger activity recently because of the economic downturn. In sum, the Virgin Mobile USA purchase shored up one business unit but did little to assuage larger concerns small and medium businesses have about the company.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?