Following Sprint’s earnings call, the company wrapped up a pretty dark 2008 with more of the same – there’s really no way to sugarcoat this so we’ll just get right to it. Sprint lost $1.62 billion in Q4 for a total loss of $2.79 billion in 2008. Actually that’s not terrible, all things considered. As for subscriber figures, 1.3 million fled the carrier in Q4 rounding off Sprint’s total number of lost subscribers in 2008 at 4.5 million. The company carried 49.3 million subscribers into 2009 and seemed optimistic that the new year would bring a slowed bleed rate along with it. While 2009 is certainly looking a bit brighter for the company, it still appears entirely too reliant on a single device to turn things around. The Palm Pre is indeed one of the most highly anticipated handsets of 2009 but it certainly isn’t the messiah and it’s going to take a whole lot more than one sexy phone to make up for a 2008 that was $2.8 billion in the red. As strong as Sprint’s network is, where available, the company has the behind-the-scenes goods to make things happen. If it can pepper in a few more solid handsets and somehow get WiMAX back on track, we could definitely see things start to look up for Sprint as 2010 rolls around.
Early this morning Rogers Communications Inc. posted its fourth quarter 2008 financial and operating results. We’re not at all interested in Rogers Cable and Media and we know all you want to know is its ARPU, churn and smartphone sales so if you please bear with us while we get this out of the way we’ll get straight to it: Rogers posted a loss of $138 million CDN ($109.25 million USD). While it was mostly the Media/Print division that dragged Rogers down (Cable had double-digit growth), Wireless didn’t do much for Rogers in the way of short-term favors as retention costs once again ate up a large amount of cash. Net additions totaled 199,000 with 158,000 of those being locked into lengthy contracts causing a modest 2% increase in ARPU for post-paid subscribers which stood at $74.71. A 36 percent increase in demand for wireless data (which is where Rogers unsurprisingly looks to for 18 percent of its overall network revenue) was attributed as the main factor for the increase. Easily home to the best smartphone line-up in North America, Rogers sold 400,000 units with 160,000 of those going to new subscribers – something which costs Rogers a lot of money in the short-term. At least Rogers can comfort themselves knowing that churn dropped to 1.12 percent. It could be worse, right Bell?