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Hesse being watched as Sprint throws another partnership into the dustpile

  • TC2 Blog
  • 3/23/2012
  • David Rohde

We’ve always been concerned whenever a carrier’s strategy is so complicated that the chief executive has to spend all his time on something other than product rollouts and customer experience issues.

One example was AT&T during the Michael Armstrong era, when he spent the first half of his tenure buying cable companies and the second half spinning them off (and trying to convince everyone that all these moves made perfect sense). Another was SBC during the Ed Whitacre era, when he spent all his time buying other RBOCs and fighting the FCC and the long distance carriers in court, while slow-rolling DSL, fiber-to-the-curb, and promised CLEC competition.

The outstanding recent example has been Dan Hesse and Sprint, with its ever-shifting strategy to keep up in mobile broadband – deciding whether to use WiMax or LTE, entering and then discarding partnerships, or hopping aboard the Apple bandwagon at a phenomenal cost in subsidies.

Turns out that was just the half of it.