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Sprint’s Dan Hesse: Holding Onto Unlimited, Wimax Was a Quick Fix

Sprint's Dan Hesse on stage at CTIA: File Photo: LLC

Dan Hesse was in the hot seat with All Things Digital’s Walt Mossberg today at the All Things Digital D: Dive Into Mobile event.  After reviewing all of the interviews, Hesse actually shed a lot of light on a lot of things.

Out of the 4 major carriers in the United States; Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint, Sprint is the only one that still offers a truly unlimited package.  Hesse said that he feels simplicity is easiest. Basically a customer is more likely to say yes because it’s easier. Hesse said “Customers will pay a premium for simplicity even if it’s not in their best economic interest”. Logically that works, how many times have you opted for the All you can eat buffet at a premium only to be full after the first plate which would have cost you a lot less.

Hesse did say that they upped the cost for unlimited on their premium devices, however it’s still unlimited.  When asked about people using sling box apps 24/7 Hesse replied that they were working on plans, presumably unlimited plans, that would encompass multiple devices.

Earlier in the interview the subject of WiMax came up. WiMax is the technology which Sprint is labeling “4G” when in fact it’s not really 4G either.  Although Hesse said that WiMax and LTE are the same, they are in fact very different and WiMax as a generalization is slower than LTE.  Hesse said “I can’t deny that LTE will be a bigger ecosystem, but we couldn’t wait. We thought the market was ready.”

There was speculation last summer that Sprint through it’s partner Clearwire was testing LTE in some areas contrary to that report, Sprint reported Monday that they were building out WiMax with partners Alcatel Lucent, Ericcson and Samsung. That contract and build out is expected to take 5  years.

In the Consumer Reports cell phone study that was published today Sprint was the most improved echoing Hesse’s ideals deep rooted in improving customer service.


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