Sprint added 682,000 customers in the last three months of the calendar year, bringing its total customer base to 53.9 million subscribers. Total retail postpaid churn was 2.15%, down slightly from the 2.18% measured in the year ago quarter. The company reported a loss of $1 billion, which is less than the $1.3 billion it lost in Q4 2012.
Sprint ended the year with 53.9 million Sprint platform subscribers – its highest level ever – after adding 58,000 postpaid subscribers, 322,000 prepaid subscribers and 302,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers in the fourth quarter. Sprint sold 5.6 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and 20.5 million smartphones for the year with smartphone sales mix reaching 95 percent for postpaid and 66 percent for prepaid in the quarter.Earlier this year, Sprint competitor Verizon announced smartphone activations of 8.8 million along with 1.7 million new subscribers in Q4 2013, while AT&T activated 1.2M postpaid smartphones and gained 809,000 new subscribers in the quarter.
Sprint becomes the first US carrier to lose money this quarter as it continues to struggle. Recent rumors suggest Sprint parent company Softbank may be interested in acquiring rival T-Mobile, but regulators have already expressed opposition to the deal.