Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sprint - Nextel Failure

The NY Times stated the problems with the Sprint Nextel merger and integration clearly:

Analysts attribute Sprint’s problems and Mr. Forsee’s departure to the poorly executed union of Sprint and Nextel Communications, a deal struck in 2005.

The Sprint and Nextel networks operated on different wireless technologies, which made it harder to merge operations.

“When Sprint bought Nextel, it was like buying a completely alien technology with no synergy at all,” said Edward Snyder, a telecommunications industry analyst with Charter Equity Research. But, he noted, Sprint figured “everybody else was merging, why not them?”

The two companies also had different marketing strategies. Nextel sought more business clients, while Sprint focused primarily on consumers. After the merger “there was a tremendous amount of brand confusion,” said Walter Piecyk, an industry analyst with Pali Research.

Andy Abramson @ VoIP Watch points out that there are significant problems with converged services (like FMC and UMA) -- the lack of interoperability between vendors gear and systems. If Sprint can't get Nextel gear to integrate, it must be a real challenge to get TDM gear to mesh with cellular systems as well. (And IMS has not been rolled out and operational yet).

Right now Fixed Mobile Convergence is a multi-supplier solution, not to mention multi-vendor based. ... While Unified Communications may be talked about, that's more of the unification of the back end, not at the end of the call where the user is. [andy]

Want to see how bad Sprint is doing in numbers?

Bloomberg has an article that states the numbers:

  • The stock has fallen 22 percent since the acquisition
  • The company lost 337,000 customers in the third quarter
  • smaller rivals such as T-Mobile have added more customers than Sprint this year
  • AT&T, the largest wireless company, signed more than 900,000 users to contracts last quarter, more than Sprint's 16,000. Verizon Wireless, the second biggest, added 1.5 million. T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, added 857,000 subscribers.
Bloomberg doesn't think they will have an easy time finding a CEO. Sprint is too distresses with no clear direction. NY Times mentions that the COO position has not been filled yet.

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