Sprint Business Markets Group (BMG) has been on a roll since the first quarter of 2010. The second quarter saw another strong performance, this time driven by increased uptake of M2M (machine-to-machine) services and vigorous demand by businesses for 4G mobile devices.
The company’s quarterly results announcement hit the wires on August 3, and the numbers show that BMG is a key contributor to the overall Sprint financial performance. This contribution was driven by some key M2M contract wins.
Amtrak is typical of the M2M users. It's offering wireless digital signage on routes on both coasts that make it possible for passengers to access news and weather updates, feature films, and TV comedies. Continental Airlines is also using wireless digital signage at its Houston and Newark hubs, so customers and employees can navigate arrival and departure information at gates, terminal ramps, and maintenance areas.
Another Sprint M2M user is the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The team has implemented wireless displays throughout the Club Level at FedEx Field.
Business demand for the HTC EVO 4G and other smartphones (such as the BlackBerry Curve and Bold) helped Sprint achieve an excellent postpaid churn of just 1.85 percent in the quarter; it also reaped positive net postpaid subscriber growth (136,000 subscribers) on the CDMA network.
The Samsung Epic, Sprint’s second 4G phone will soon launch, targeting business users in vertical industries such as healthcare, education, public safety, construction, and professional services. Its vertical targeting is shared by the 3G/4G USB 250U from Sierra Wireless; Sprint added this mobile broadband modem to its lineup during the quarter; it provides a superior mobile Internet experience for users in construction, government, healthcare, transportation and other industries.
There were other factors driving a solid second quarter such as continued deployment and expansion of 4G services in various markets. During the quarter, eight new markets were added, bringing the total to 43 markets and 51 million people, en route to Sprint’s objective of reaching 120 million people by the end of 2010.
Overall it was a strong financial quarter across the board: Sprint generated $709 million of free cash flow and maintained a strong liquidity position, with $4.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of the end of the quarter.