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Sprint Finally Falls to Fourth Place

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If you’ve been following the main Network Carriers during the last year or two, then you are probably aware that T-Mobile and Sprint have been engaged in a full-on battle over subscribers. T-Mobile, the self-branded Uncarrier, has been boasting for more than a year that it would overtake Sprint as the Number Three carrier in the United States. And last quarter it looks like it finally happened.

Sprint reported its numbers recently and it looks like despite the extremely aggressive “Slash Your Bill In Half” promotions, a total shakeup of administrative roles and various other promotions from its large MVNO segment, the giant was unable to keep its tenuous spot as No. 3 in the last fiscal quarter. Sprint currently has 56.8 million subscribers between prepaid, postpaid and MVNO customers while the Uncarrier has 58.9 million total. AT&T and Verizon maintain their spots as No. 1 and 2 carriers.

Of course, as impressive and important as all of that might sound, truthfully this probably doesn’t really mean all that much for your average user. Both T-Mobile and Sprint have less coverage than Number one and two carriers AT&T and Verizon and both have been feeling the pressure to keep their competitive edge with some fantastic deals.

But, while Sprint and T-Mobile have been able to put some pressure on the competition, neither is doing all that great. T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom has made no secret that T-Mobile can’t keep up its current rate and that it wants to sell off the Uncarrier. The most recent talks for T-Mobile have been with Comcast, which sounds like a terrible idea to me.

Sprint, on the other hand, has been looking something like a slowly sinking ship for months now, but there’s  still a sliver of hope that Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure might pull off some sort of miracle. With Sprint holding the vast majority of MVNO contracts, if the company went under it would be a huge deal for the industry. As with everything, we’ll just have to wait and see where it all goes.

There’s never a dull day in the wireless industry.