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Analysts: Sprint to lose 150K subs in Q4


IamMrFamous07
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So, my sister just switched from Verizon to T-Mobile (long story but she had a bad experience with Sprint and wouldn't consider it) and I went to the T-Mobile store with her.

 

Every single person in there was switching from other carriers and walking around (okay, eavesdropping) most were from Sprint. I think people are really underestimating the effect that the ETF payoff will have on people under contracts. I know my experience is anecdotal but I was honestly shocked how many people were switching from Sprint. I fully believe the subscriber losses will exceed that 150,000 number in Q1 2014. 

 

I actually really like Sprint but it will be an uphill battle winning subscribers back.

 

Ive heard on other forums a LOT of AT&T customers calling in, mentioning the tmobile deal, and being offered TONS of incentives to stay - all without requiring any contract extensions

 

Is Sprint doing the same? Or is the credit purse still tight?

 

 

Edit: It doesnt help that Sprint targets all their promotions at new customers....framily, phone discounts etc. Yes, that MAY bring people in, but guess what, it makes existing customers unhappy.

 

Isnt a customer in the bag better than two in the bush?

 

Especially because once a customer leaves - they're not coming back. I had a very poor experience with AT&T and would never go back to them.

 

Sprint doesnt seem to understand that they need to make their current customers happy. It pays off in the long term. So many purchasing decisions are made thanks to recommendations between family and friends. You need your customers to be advocates of your brand, not disgruntled.

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Here is the biggest thing...they are rigid and inflexible.  The Network Vision plan was sound.  But many problems occurred where Sprint needed to be strong and be willing to make changes.  Also, the market changed beneath them.  And they did not change.

 

If I felt they were adapting NOW, I would go back into complacency myself.  But I am not detecting any urgency or changes now.  They just seem keeping to the plan.  Stick to plan.  Do not deviate from the plan.  If the plan slips, if the OEM's slip on equipment, if the city says come back next month, if the backhaul is delayed, if San Francisco stays a giant black hole void of LTE...do not make waves.  Just stay the course.  It will work out in time.

 

Problems happen.  Mistakes happen.  Adapt!  I think Sprint executive management is so used to having its hands tied by funding that they don't even know how to spend a little extra money to solve their problems.  To find a new way...a better way...a faster way.  It's foreign to them now.  They may be too close to the problem.

 

Masayoshi Son senses this.  That is why he shot across their bow recently in a public interview.  It's their last shot.  Having a huge spectrum arsenal alone will not save Sprint.  It just is the asset that keeps investors from losing all their money when the company goes bankrupt.  Sprint must turn around in 2014.  And it has to feel like it is well on its way by Mid Year.

 

Robert

 

And that's the way the Cookie Crumbles!

 

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Isnt a customer in the bag better than two in the bush?

 

Agreed, it is.  But giving away the farm to existing subs does not set a good precedent.  Finding a balance is key.  And after all, T-Mobile subs are no longer under contract.  So, if they are not happy with magenta's notoriously inconsistent to nonexistent coverage, they are free to return to Sprint.

 

AJ

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It seems so, since he is the head of networks.  However, we just don't know what the cause is from the outside looking in.  Did he want to do more and make some strategic deployment changes but was shot down by Dan Hesse, the Board, financial reasons?  We don't know.  So I don't feel comfortable making a specific judgment call like that without more information.  I mean, this is a real guy after all.

 

The problem definitely exists at the top.  How far down does it go?  Who knows from our perch?  But even if Bob Azzi is the worst guy in the world to be the head of the Sprint Network, he has a boss.

 

Here is another problem with Sprint...they are all good guys.  They are likable guys.  Guys that you want to be your neighbors.  They are friendly folks.  Nobody wants to be the one to kick them in the teeth.  But I think SoftBank is preparing to do exactly that.  Between now and the beginning of summer, Sprint needs to get the following things done to stop subscriber losses caused by the network:

  • Every site needs to be converted to Network Vision and functioning.  If the site cannot be permitted, install it as a GMO temporarily.
  • CSFB needs to be done in 30-45 days over the entire Sprint network.  And this is physically possible given how far Samsung is along.
  • Backhaul needs to be expedited to every site.  Every single one.  Hire a backhaul team for every market that will run down any temporary backhaul solution for each site where the original backhaul is more than 60 days out.  There are all kinds of temporary copper, AAV, microwave or other wireless backhaul solutions that can be instituted at each site.
  • Install LTE at every GMO site where you can get temporary upgraded backhaul to.  Including the new temporary GMO sites discussed above.
  • Install CDMA 800 and LTE 800 in separate crews at every site where you have the license available and the spectrum cleared.  This can be done in 30-45 days if you can get the carrier cards.  Which the OEM's should have had ready and waiting six month ago if managed correctly.
  • Speed up the Band 41 deployment on WiMax sites.  Get the remaining WiMax network converted in 6 months.  Don't tell me it cannot be done, because this is similar to Tmo's scope.
  • Get started on Band 41 deployment on Network Vision sites hard.  Hit every Top 100 market with every resource you have.  And start with the ones with little to no permitting.  You probably could get those banged out in 6 months and they can move on to the ones that need permitting after that.
  • AND THEY NEED TO BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT IT ALL.  When and where they are doing what.  Be so thorough that it makes S4GRU redundant and puts us out of business!

I don't buy where we are at now that these things can't be done.  They can.  They just cost a lot of money and take a lot of damn effort to expedite and manage.  But they have crossed a threshold now.  They cannot try to pick up pennies here on the remaining deployment.  It's now a war for their survival.

 

Doing the things outlined above will cost a lot more money than just naturally letting the existing NV plans carry out to their eventual conclusion.  However, Sprint is losing a lot of money right out the doors with current subscriber losses.  It stands to lose a lot more in lost customer revenue and even further diminished brand value.

 

Yes, Sprint may end up buying Tmo.  But they cannot put anything on hold or take anything for granted in the interim.  They must plan as if they are in a fight for their lives.  Their customers want them to fight for them.  I'm tired of telling people if Sprint doesn't meet their needs, then go.  Because Sprint could meet their needs.  Sprint could meet the needs of 90% of Americans.  But the network has got to change.

 

No more excuses.  This is not a rant.  And this is not a breach in the rules to open the floor for complaints.  It is constructive criticism directly from the head of S4GRU.  Please do not spring board off this post to rant.  However, feel free to discuss my points or the merits of my personal cursory plan to save the Sprint network.

 

Robert

Wow 

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Agreed, it is.  But giving away the farm to existing subs does not set a good precedent.  Finding a balance is key.  And after all, T-Mobile subs are no longer under contract.  So, if they are not happy with magenta's notoriously inconsistent to nonexistent coverage, they are free to return to Sprint.

 

AJ

 

There is certainly a balance on how much should be given away.

 

I feel that today, Sprint is more on the "not enough" side, especially for those in markets with limited or no NV progress. The constant loss of subscribers indicates this, as people arent being offered enough to stay.

 

 

While those that move to Tmobile can always move back and take part in the new customer incentives (made even easier by the Nexus 5), that person can also move from Sprint, to Tmobile...and then onto one of the other companies, or even the virtual companies. If you are unhappy with both Sprint and Tmobile, you probably want to keep sailing to warmer waters, and at least try the 14 day period.

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Here is the biggest thing...they are rigid and inflexible. The Network Vision plan was sound. But many problems occurred where Sprint needed to be strong and be willing to make changes. Also, the market changed beneath them. And they did not change.

 

If I felt they were adapting NOW, I would go back into complacency myself. But I am not detecting any urgency or changes now. They just seem keeping to the plan. Stick to plan. Do not deviate from the plan. If the plan slips, if the OEM's slip on equipment, if the city says come back next month, if the backhaul is delayed, if San Francisco stays a giant black hole void of LTE...do not make waves. Just stay the course. It will work out in time.

 

Problems happen. Mistakes happen. Adapt! I think Sprint executive management is so used to having its hands tied by funding that they don't even know how to spend a little extra money to solve their problems. To find a new way...a better way...a faster way. It's foreign to them now. They may be too close to the problem.

 

Masayoshi Son senses this. That is why he shot across their bow recently in a public interview. It's their last shot. Having a huge spectrum arsenal alone will not save Sprint. It just is the asset that keeps investors from losing all their money when the company goes bankrupt. Sprint must turn around in 2014. And it has to feel like it is well on its way by Mid Year.

 

Robert

This is almost exactly the way I feel about he sprint's management team. It seems to me that have this idea that they could just trend water until NV was complete and the industry is simply moving to fast. This is especially true on the offerings and customer service end of things. This might have been ok if they had managed to stick to the original NV time table and NV 1.0 was largely complete today.

 

In one sense I understand their thought process, they don't want to ramp up offers and marketing to have people switch to a network that is going to leave a bad tast in their mouths. But they should have and should be doing more to get a head of their competition and not just follow the industry lead. One place I do give tmobile credit is they have been reducing (or appearing to) consumers pain points and no one can really argue that it hasn't paid off for them in the short run. Sprint could learn a lot from tmobile on this end (not on the network side, except maybe in the since of urgency of getting ahead of the competition, I.e a more ambitious 2.5 deployment). They need to find and reduce their customers pain point because enduring the network upgrades is a massive one sprint can't really do anything about other than execute on NV.

 

The plan was for NV was a good one (the reAson I stay with sprint really) but execution has been poor. Which is a shame because I think Hesse and co have done just about as good as anyone mitigating the disaster that was the nextel merger.

 

Ps what is the problem with SF anyway. What is causing NV progress to be so slow there, if you know? (I am from that part of the world lol).

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Such an awesome thread this has turned into... My Sprint line wants to make it out the house and go play again. I hate having to call and email Sprint about the same issues over and over. I hate having to use an AT&T SIM temporarily. I want to use Sprint again. Things need to move forward as I am really tired of hearing nothing but negatives from people and accounts leaving. Sprint needs to kick Ericsson to the curb so quick. Especially with the new info I learned about them today.

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Problems happen.  Mistakes happen.  Adapt!  I think Sprint executive management is so used to having its hands tied by funding that they don't even know how to spend a little extra money to solve their problems.  To find a new way...a better way...a faster way.  It's foreign to them now.  They may be too close to the problem.

 

Masayoshi Son senses this.  That is why he shot across their bow recently in a public interview.  It's their last shot.  Having a huge spectrum arsenal alone will not save Sprint.  It just is the asset that keeps investors from losing all their money when the company goes bankrupt.  Sprint must turn around in 2014.  And it has to feel like it is well on its way by Mid Year.

 

Robert

 

Absolutely.

 

Hesse convinced the entire operations team to batten down the hatches years ago. I personally believe Son carries some blame here as well for not shaking up or challenging and questioning all operations from day one. From the moment Softbank completed the purchase, the hatches should have been flung wide open as the storm waging within the corporation's walls was OVER.   I suspect that Hesse actually loathes having to fight T-mobile for customers, given his history and their flaws.  I also suspect he had zero expectation that the public would embrace Tmo's pricing strategy and no subsidy model or that ATT would react to Tmo either.  I personally hate that all of sprint's pricing and plan changes these last few years and even Framily have been moreso "me too!" reactions than the "nukes"  Hesse had in his arsenal when he first joined Sprint (Everything Data Plans, Any-mobile Calling). 

 

Do we know much what the individual vendor agreements prescribe when the vendor fails to meet the time allowances? Or if they even allow Sprint to end portions of the agreement in the event the vendor fails to meet certain criteria? Does anyone remember how long the Ericsson network management agreement was to be in effect?   I am confident Son has the funds and teeth to negotiate more aggressive agreements in the future, but the agreements in place may carry too high a penalty to end. So, besides consistent and daily nagging from Sprint to the vendors, what more can Sprint realistically do to improve the future deployment speed for work already negotiated?   And what good does telling a vendor "your progress is damaging the relationship between our companies" when all 4 carriers are racing to complete upgrades and there is more work to be done than contractors and Sprint would have pinched every penny possible in the original agreement? 

 

As far as care's handling of network concerns and complaints, whoever is responsible for guiding that ship needs to be fired or re-assigned and new blood charged with the task of educating and retaining customers.  If a customer calls and threatens to leave due to issues clearly caused by network vision work or the absence of network vision, if care can see upgrades scheduled or in progress, giving that customer a loyalty credit while also opening a network ticket and guaranteeing followup is NOT too much to ask.   Again, wonder which loss Son would rather sustain?  A lost customer or a $10 -20 credit each month until NV is completed on the affected site?  Instead, Sprint has stayed the course = "too many credits are given by care, reduce restrict remove".    

 

The tone in this discussion is appropriate for me to go ahead and share why a "V" showed up in  my tapatalk signature in December.   The Sprint site serving the downtown area where I spend 9-10 hours a day , 5-6 days a week had NV panels installed around August or September of 2013.  It had received backhaul upgrades prior that time which had 3G functioning consistently at an admirable 400k- 2mb depending on the time of day.  Perfect for my needs.  Well, data and text went down for 4 days soon after the NV panels went up.  No problem, understandable.  While to this day LTE remains inactive, the 3G service that came back returned with 2 dead channels and garbled voice quality.  I was told twice that "We are installing LTE, please be patient".  So I was patient until mid November. Digiblur can attest, but the dead channels are most problematic when the site traffic increases.  All sprint devices I observed here would jump on the active channel , lose data connection, fall back to 1x, eventually find evdo and repeat.  Drained my note 2 battery in just a few hours.  

I opened a network tech with executive care in mid November, giving them the site ID and specifically explaining the dead channels and problems.  I didn't need LTE.... just for them to fix the 3G they market that site providing.  The rep was courteous but refused to acknowledge anything was wrong with the site, telling me "Your data usage reflected on your account is average, so it seems  like you are able to use it elsewhere".   I was advised to wait 7-10 days for the "network tech"  (Ericsson) to evaluate.  10 days later, she called me and shared that no response had been provided by the tech but the site numbers were normal and closed the ticket.    There is so much that could have gone different with this experience, but I ultimately decided the issues expressed by the other users on my plan, network problems we conditioned ourselves to ignore, and limited footprint in my state were no longer justified by the price.   

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I think Robert hit the nail on the head.

 

Network Vision has taken too long for where it is currently at.  Period.  They have the cash, put it to use.

 

If a market has the spectrum open, and 1900 LTE is in place, its unacceptable for 800 LTE to not be up and running.  Its also unacceptable how long it has taken to get backhaul to many places, and clearly more short term solutions should of been employed, such as microwave.  If you go to the second biggest airport in New England and cant use your phone for voice or data, you have a problem.  Its 2014.  Shit or get off the pot.

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I say good riddance.  The more subscribers that Sprint loses, the better.  Really.

 

Now that Sprint is no longer in danger of going bankrupt, severe subscriber loss numbers will have two benefits.  One, they will remove strain on the network.  Two, it will cause a severe shakeup at Sprint to solve the existing problems as fast as physically possible.  I think Sprint management is content knowing the solution is in place and letting it run its course until completion.  Instead of being swift and adept, rolling with the punches and changing as necessary.

 

People are leaving Sprint because of the network.  Network Vision just is not delivering on its promises yet.  Sprint had two years to solve the problem...the life of one whole contract season.  It didn't do that (for 100 valid and invalid reasons).  And someone stepped up to make it very attractive for these discontent people to leave.

 

The problem is Sprint Executive Management.  If subscriber losses substantially exceed internal estimates for Q1 2014, I expect heads to roll.  Mr. Son will start cleaning house.  And if that is what the result is going to be anyway, I'd rather he'd do that sooner than later.  So I'm kind of hoping the subscriber losses are as big as Sprint can handle.  It needs to hurt.

 

Robert

 

I don't think Mr. Son can afford to wait 3 mouth's they I/E Sprint Management need's the boot now.

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Sounds almost exactly the same as my experience, except ours is a legacy site that has a busted EVDO carrier card for now 14 months. At least last time, network support admitted that the site would not be fixed and couldn't be fixed, offered a credit and said to call back in 2 months for another credit as it wouldn't be fixed by then either. I know of at least 3 accounts that will not be back due to this tone.  I hate to see the company doing these things...network support needs to be changed quickly!  They could have thrown together a half ass site in the 14 months its been down and shut this one off.

 

 

 

Absolutely.

 


twice that "We are installing LTE, please be patient".  So I was patient until mid November. Digiblur can attest, but the dead channels are most problematic when the site traffic increases.  All sprint devices I observed here would jump on the active channel , lose data connection, fall back to 1x, eventually find evdo and repeat.  Drained my note 2 battery in just a few hours.  


 

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wow, If I had to pick one thread that basically showcases why s4GRU is so awesome, this one is it.

Kudos to IamMrFamous07 for starting it and for all those that have posted in a civilized non-rant manner. Great discussion.

 

I agree with others that what Robert wrote should be sent to the the higher ups at Sprint or Mr. Son himself. 

 

:tu:

 

TS

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I must say I am feeling that some are really getting frustrated over the whole plan. The more reading and looking around I do the more I realize a few things

 

1) how far behind sprint really is

2) by the time they finish they still might be behind and "not deliver what was promised"

3) other carriers are really close in price 

4) many people are holding out for sprints benefit 

5) many are tired of sprints broken promises

 

I have been with sprint over 10 years and while my area is lte launched it often comes and goes a large part is due to my phone (i hope) but smh. I don't get anywhere near the speeds of other carriers. While i know its not that important, how else is sprint supposed to gain customers???   Are they gonna advertise a great network just to have vzw make a commercial comparing speed tests the way they did coverage maps?? Regardless of what many may say its going to come down to speed... and so far here in the northeast (at least in my market) it isn't matching the other carriers..

 

Why would someone want to go to or come back to sprint? Tmo/att are paying etfs and giving out great pricing for a better experience now. I just don't see what sprint has to offer... If Framily was about $10 cheaper to go directly at tmo?

I am hoping sprint can do it but I just don't know how... and my own patience is running out.

 

Isnt there someone in sprint corp we can send an email too?

Then again, Is it possible that sprint could really be this blind? Or cocky? 

 

We all know tmo network is similar in size to sprint (or comparable) I know they didn't do as much as sprint but how did they deploy lte in about 9 months and we are 2yrs into ours.. I do understand it is a different build... but what did they do that sprint can't?

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I must say I am feeling that some are really getting frustrated over the whole plan. The more reading and looking around I do the more I realize a few things

 

1) how far behind sprint really is

2) by the time they finish they still might be behind and "not deliver what was promised"

3) other carriers are really close in price

4) many people are holding out for sprints benefit

5) many are tired of sprints broken promises

 

I have been with sprint over 10 years and while my area is lte launched it often comes and goes a large part is due to my phone (i hope) but smh. I dont get anywhere near the speeds of other carriers. While i know its not that important, how else is sprint supposed to gain customers??? Are they gonna advertise a great network just to have vzw make a commercial comparing speed tests the way they did coverage maps?? Regardless of what many may say its going to come down to speed... and so far here in the northeast (at least in my market) it isnt matching the other carriers..

 

Why would someone want to go to or come back to sprint? Tmo/att are paying etfs and giving out great pricing for a better experience now. I just dont see what sprint has to offer... If Framily was about $10 cheaper to go directly at tmo?

I am hoping sprint can do it but I just dont know how... and my own patience is running out.

Your post is not constructive. This is the example as the line for everyone else.

 

Robert via Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

 

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The line between complaining and constructive criticism is a fine one....Therefore I choose not to do either....cause i'm blind and cannot see... :P

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Do you his think tmobile may end up paying way more then they want for the ETF promo? I mean that's a shit ton of money... I think already in the millions from when they started.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The line between complaining and constructive criticism is a fine one....Therefore I choose not to do either....cause i'm blind and cannot see... :P

It is. And it's blurry because it is subjective based on different human beings.

 

Robert via Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Is it possible that they've already started doing what Robert said, in terms of the network? I've noticed here in NYC a significant amount of LTE sites pop up. Sites that were sitting with 3G only for the longest time here in NYC, suddenly got LTE all at once. But then again I think they have Verizon as the backhaul supplier because these towers are in areas well served by FiOS.

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Is it possible that they've already started doing what Robert said, in terms of the network? I've noticed here in NYC a significant amount of LTE sites pop up. Sites that were sitting with 3G only for the longest time here in NYC, suddenly got LTE all at once. But then again I think they have Verizon as the backhaul supplier because these towers are in areas well served by FiOS.

Yep, it's possible. But to my trained eye I'm seeing more of the same. NV on auto pilot.

 

Robert via Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

 

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I don't think backhaul is an issue in many cases.  There are several sites in San Diego that I know of, backhaul was delivered by AT&T 6-8 months ago.  Last time that I remember, Sprint was negotiating new lease agreements with the building owners (3 months ago).

 

How do I know this information, the building owners is our client (We provide IT services to them).  Sprint dropped the ball somewhere and it is NOT the backhaul in many cases.

 

As of today, there is not even a single new NV gear at these sites other than backhaul gear from AT&T and electrical that was completed for NV.

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I don't think backhaul is an issue in many cases.  There are several sites in San Diego that I know of, backhaul was delivered by AT&T 6-8 months ago.  Last time that I remember, Sprint was negotiating new lease agreements with the building owners (3 months ago).

 

How do I know this information, the building owners is our client (We provide IT services for them).  Sprint dropped the ball somewhere and it is NOT the backhaul in many cases.

Wouldn't that be something no thought of. I would have thought the leases were taken care for the most part.

 

I believe they are running new back haul to a site not far from me. Verizon has been there almost everyday and the site hasnt turned on to lte yet so my fingers are crossed.

 

Is there a reason why they couldnt just keep going and add 800 lte while they are at the site? To expedite things?

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I am kind of curious about the backhaul isnt at the tower yet line of reasoning.  I am sure this has been said somewhere else, but I cant think of it right now.  Arent ATT and Verizon using fiber backhauls?  Tmobile in some places as well?  If a tower is serving up LTE from all other major carriers, and NV is done, where exactly is that backhaul tie in stuck?  I would think that 90% of the work is getting the actual line to the tower.  The backhaul providers arent running single lines per carrier are they?

 

I know of a site in Rhode Island on Route 101, just in from the Connecticut line.  They buried a massive fiber optic line on this road 3 years ago, and you can follow it all the way to Providence from the hills of CT.  But the tower that is literally 500 feet from it, with nothing in between, isnt LTE yet.  I just dont know enough about it to know if thats reasonable or not (yes its NV 3g Accepted)

 

I still think even with the sluggishness Sprint is going to fare ok long term.  Short term might be a big disaster and shake up.  Yes, eventually this will all iron out.  But if you loose 2 million subs in the process that you didnt need to loose, it makes it that much harder to gain ground.

 

I want nothing more than to hold a triband device, in the middle of a building, showing how good my phone works, with the Sprint logo on it.  I have faith in Sprint, and I want to show that faith for them.  Just give me the power guys!!  Ill have my S5 order in as soon as it goes on sale (assuming Triband of course)

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It is. And it's blurry because it is subjective based on different human beings.

 

Robert via Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

 

Nothing but truth in that statement.... :tu:

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