Sprint lays off 330 techs, shutters 55 stores as part of broader cuts

Sprint recently cut a significant chunk of its staff dedicated to repairing and refurbishing phones and shut down its slower-performing stores, part of a broader effort to reduce the company's costs in the face of continued financial struggles.

The Overland Park, Kan., wireless carrier laid off 330 technical consultants, closing 150 service and repair centers across the country, a Sprint representative confirmed to CNET. It also shut down 55 of its worst-performing retail stores. The moves were part of a larger plan for layoffs and cuts that was announced in January.

Sprint is attempting to streamline itself and return … Read more

Sprint adds 20 LTE markets, expects to cover 250M people by midyear

Sprint has expanded its LTE network as it attempts to catch up to AT&T and Verizon.

The company said Monday that it has expanded its LTE service by 20 markets to 402. Sprint's LTE service is now available in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Omaha, Neb., and Peoria, Ill., among others.

Sprint has been investing heavily in building out its LTE network and expects to be able to cover 250 million Americans by the middle of 2014. Verizon covers more than 300 million people with its LTE network; AT&T covers nearly 280 million people.

In addition … Read more

Sprint revamps prepaid with cheaper plans, new phones

Sprint is triple-downing on prepaid.

On Friday, Sprint introduced Sprint Prepaid, a revamped take on an existing program that includes less expensive plans -- with caveats -- and new options for smartphones, including a "Spark" device able to access higher LTE speeds.

Sprint Prepaid represents yet another push by the carrier to reinforce its position in the prepaid market, complementing its two other brands, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, both of which attack slightly different demographics of consumers. The launch comes at a time when its business is under siege by T-Mobile, which offers its own expanding prepaid … Read more

AT&T throws cold water on European acquisitions

AT&T appears to be shifting its focus back to the US rather than expand into Europe.

That's according to AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens, who was speaking at an investor conference on Wednesday. The event was Webcast.

"We're seeing the window of opportunity in owning assets is closing," Stephens said.

AT&T was reportedly interested in Vodafone, but in January said it didn't intend to make an offer. Still, the company opened the door to it, saying it reserved the right to make an offer at another time. As … Read more

Sprint iPhone 5 owners, welcome to Ting

Sprint subscribers who own an iPhone 5 can now bring their phones to Ting. OK, but what exactly is Ting, you may ask?

Launched in 2012, Ting is a mobile service that attemps to avoid the limitations and frustrations of the typical wireless plan. Ting offers various rates based on how many minutes, messages, and megabytes you use. But you don't actually pick a specific wireless plan. Instead, you just fall into a certain rate bucket depending on how much you consume each month.

As an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) partner of Sprint, Ting allows you to bring … Read more

Sprint CFO says early reaction to Framily better than expected

Sprint's Framily friends and family plan is off to a good start. So says Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer, who spoke at a Deutsche Bank investor conference on Monday.

At a time when the wireless carriers are either slashing prices or pushing for family members to sign up together to save money, Framily is Sprint's most potent weapon to fend off the competitive pressure. The plan is simple: the more people sign up, the bigger the savings. Individuals get separate bills, so people can go beyond their direct family and join together with friends and acquaintances.

Euteneuer said … Read more

SoftBank targets broadband to justify T-Mobile buyout -- report

Fast mobile connection speeds, coupled with a strong third wireless carrier, could help improve US competition, not hurt it, SoftBank's CEO plans to argue in Washington this week.

SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son will speak to policymakers on Tuesday and argue that if wireless carriers grow in size and invest in faster, more reliable data service, competition in the US home broadband market would intensify, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Son's plans.

Son won't specifically lobby for a Sprint-T-Mobile merger, the report claimed, but the subtext of that … Read more

Why Sprint's push for a T-Mobile merger will likely be in vain

Once Softbank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son gets a bee in his bonnet, he's apparently a hard man to discourage.

Despite the fact that regulators have already expressed their skepticism of a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile to Son and Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO, Son is not giving up. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Son plans to take his arguments for why more wireless consolidation is needed to business and policy leaders gathering in Washington, DC, at a US Chamber of Commerce event on March 11.

While the article said that Son isn't … Read more

Sprint approves KitKat update for more Samsung smartphones

Sprint on Wednesday confirmed plans to issue Android 4.4.2 updates to a number of Samsung Galaxy devices.

According to a post on the carrier's blog, the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Mega, and Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 are in line to receive KitKat updates. As a result, the mobile gadgets called out will benefit from features such as enhanced messaging options and a more intuitive interface. In addition to the standard fare of OS features, the lock screen will be updated to allow for quick access to cameras.

While Sprint did not … Read more

Sprint chairman to make plea for T-Mobile merger, despite concerns

Sprint Chairman and SoftBank Chief Masayoshi Son will petition the business community and lawmakers to support consolidation in the mobile market, a new report claims.

Son will host a presentation at the US Chamber of Commerce event in Washington, D.C., on March 11, where he's expected to rail against the US wireless industry and make a plea for business owners and lawmakers to support a possible merger between his company and T-Mobile, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of his plans.

Sprint has yet to make an official merger offer to … Read more