Why do people keep talking about Sprint?

Read this blog long enough and you’ll realize I don’t like Sprint. Yes, I get it… their prices are lower and the quality of their service is almost as good. But, over the years they’ve just moved in the wrong direction too many times. I’ve still not managed to forgive them for the drama several years ago surrounding them and the two companies that tried to buy them. I publicly advised T-Mobile to stay away from them too, and while I doubt it was my plea that did it, it seems like merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint are off.

That’s because now Comcast and Charter are interested. Seriously?

Yes, seriously. DSLReports says that a joint venture between Comcast and Charter to own and operate Sprint is on the table. Not that I’m a big fan of either Comcast or Charter to begin with but this whole thing makes me trust them even less. Clearly they’re reacting to the fact that AT&T now offers television and cellular, but do they think the best thing to do is buy a wireless carrier with massive amounts of technological baggage? Apparently they do, who knows.

I will say that as time goes on, Sprint becomes more desirable because some their bad decisions from the past simply fade away. Their early 4G service was a total mess and even their recent decisions have left users scratching their heads about what to do when you can’t get signal indoors. The frequencies they use aren’t part of any cell booster and that means you may just be out of luck if you have coverage problems. This is the company that Comcast and Charter want to have. Go figure.

At the moment at least, Sprint is in a good position, I’ll admit that. They have the three top phone manufacturers — Apple, Samsung and LG — delivering current model phones to them, and they have a reasonable selection of low-cost product as well. That puts them in a rare position of parity with other carriers as far as product selection. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Plus the company has recently decided to venture back into the pre-paid cell game, which has been heating up thanks to AT&T’s excellent GoPhone product. It looks as if Sprint will be doing pre-paid phones under the Virgin Mobile brand, and giving you the option to choose any phone you want as long as Apple makes it.

So I suppose if you’re Softbank, Sprint’s much-besmirched and beleaguered owner, you’re probably thinking this is a good time to sell. For once the company doesn’t look like a total turkey (assuming you don’t look too hard) and this might be the time to get top dollar for what has been, up to now, an underperforming investment.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.