Sprint reported operating results for the fiscal year 2016 fourth quarter and full year, including annual growth in net operating revenues for the first time in three years and more than twice as many postpaid phone net additions as last year.
The company also reported its highest annual operating income in 10 years at $1.8 billion.
Postpaid Phone Net Additions More Than Double Year-Over-Year and Prepaid Returns to Growth
Sprint’s focus on delivering the most attractive value proposition in wireless resulted in 930,000 postpaid phone net additions in fiscal year 2016, more than twice as many as the prior year. The company also reported its highest postpaid phone gross additions in four years and improved its share of gross additions for the second year in a row.
In a competitive quarter where Verizon and AT&T introduced new unlimited data plans, Sprint added 42,000 postpaid phone customers and recorded its tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement. Sprint continued to take share and has now added more postpaid phone customers than Verizon for five consecutive quarters and more than AT&T for 10 consecutive quarters.
The company also saw significant improvements in its prepaid business in the quarter, adding 180,000 customers and returning to customer growth for the first time in two years. With the resurgence of prepaid and the continued growth in postpaid phone customers, the company reported positive net additions for both in the same quarter for the first time in four years.
Another Year of Significant Cost Reductions
Sprint continued to make progress on its multi-year plan to transform the way it does business and significantly lower its cost structure. The company delivered $2.1 billion of year-over-year reductions in cost of service and selling, general and administrative expenses in fiscal year 2016, bringing the two-year total reduction to $3.4 billion.
New Technology Expected to Continue Network Improvements
Sprint is unlocking the value of the largest spectrum holdings in the U.S. in a capital-efficient manner and third party sources continue to validate the company’s network performance improvements.
- Independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics® awarded Sprint over 30 percent more first-place (outright or shared) Metropolitan area RootScore® Awards (from 103 to 135) for reliability, speed, data, call, text, or overall network performance in the 76 markets measured in the first half of 2017 compared to the year-ago testing period.
- Additionally, Sprint ranked #2 nationally in Call performance for the fourth consecutive time in the second half of 2016 report, including more metro Call RootScore awards (108) than Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile for the first time ever.
- Sprint’s overall network reliability continues to beat T-Mobile and performs within 1 percent of Verizon and AT&T, based on an analysis of Nielsen data.
As previously announced, Sprint helped develop a breakthrough innovation called High Performance User Equipment (HPUE), a new technology that extends the coverage of its 2.5GHz spectrum by up to 30 percent to nearly match its mid-band 1.9GHz spectrum performance on capable devices.
In one of the fastest progressions from global standard approval to commercial availability, HPUE-capable devices are already available to Sprint customers, including the recently launched LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8, and ZTE Max XL.