Sprint says Magic Box contributing to improved average download speeds

Amid ongoing discussions regarding a potential merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US, Sprint didn’t host a formal earnings call, but today released its Q2 financials. In addition to cutting $400 million in year-over-year expenses as part of ongoing cost reduction plan, the carrier reported growth in both its pre-paid and post-paid subscriber bases.

“Sprint was able to deliver net additions in both its post-paid phone and pre-paid business for the third consecutive quarter,” CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement. “I’m even more proud that the team was able to deliver this customer growth while continuing to attack the cost structure, improve the network, and maintain positive adjusted free cash flow.”

In terms of numbers, the carrier added 279,000 post-paid connections and 95,000 pre-paid connections. The company said this was the largest growth in retail net additions in more than two years.

Sprint also touted its Magic Box all wireless small cell, which it said “improves data coverage and increases download and upload speeds on average by 200%.” On the carrier’s last earnings call, Claure told RCR Wireless News demand for the Magic Box was outpacing supply from Airspan Networks.

We caught up with Airspan VP of Strategy and Marketing Damiano Coletti last week in Hong Kong. He discussed the supply issue: “WE are meeting current demand producing 1,000 a day, and ramping up manufacturing capacity to 3,000 in March next year.” The device is manufactured by Foxconn.

Earlier this week T-Mobile US, in its earnings presentation, restricted itself to a press release and a video blog, and is widely believed to be avoiding a call with investors because it is in the midst of merger negotiations with Sprint.

The decision to forego earnings calls, which almost always include direct questions from analysts, is a clear sign that merger talks continue, but it’s not an indication of how those talks are going. A few weeks ago, many people were predicting a merger announcement that would accompany this week’s earnings releases. At that time, the companies were said to be unable to agree on several key decision points, including the value of Sprint’s stock and the location of the merged company’s corporate headquarters.

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