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Sprint: Higher Prices Coming?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 7:19am
Maisie Ramsay

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said at an investor conference yesterday that the company would likely raise prices for some of its services in the future.

The price hikes are needed to compensate for increasing usage of Sprint's mobile data services, Hesse said at the Citi Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

"We're leaning toward making some adjustments upwards, not across the board – only in certain areas," he said. "Usage is increasing at such a rapid rate, something's got to give. From a pricing point of view, the tendency will be to move those up."

Hesse did not provide further specifics about whether the changes would affect its postpaid or prepaid business and he did not say whether Sprint would introduce new data plans or raise rates on existing plans. The company's current unlimited WiMAX mobile broadband plan costs $59.99 per month and includes 5GB of data over the company's 3G network.

Hesse also discussed the company's $5 billion network modernization plan and its complicated relationship with WiMAX operator Clearwire, in which it holds a 54 percent stake.

Hesse shied away from confirming that Sprint and Clearwire would further combine operations during Sprint's network modernization effort, which will install equipment that supports services running on Clearwire's WiMAX spectrum. However, he did say the company's network modernization plans provided more options for the two companies.

"When we put in this new architecture it provides the option for there to be more synergies between Clearwire and Sprint – I'm not saying there will be, but it clearly provides the technical option," he said. "It's clearly possible that going forward there would be a greater sharing of economic benefits between the two companies."

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