Sprint Corp 2014 10-K
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
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FORM 10-K
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x
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015
or
o
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
For the transition period from  to

Commission File number 1-04721
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SPRINT CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
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Delaware
46-1170005
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
6200 Sprint Parkway, Overland Park, Kansas
66251
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (855) 848-3280
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered 
Common stock, $0.01 par value
 
New York Stock Exchange
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Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No   o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes o    No   x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No   o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No   o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendments to this Form 10-K.  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act
Large accelerated filer
x
Accelerated filer
o
Non-accelerated filer (Do not check if smaller reporting company)
o
Smaller reporting company
o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.)    Yes  o    No   x
Aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common stock equity held by non-affiliates of Sprint Corporation at September 30, 2014 was $4,747,107,524
COMMON STOCK OUTSTANDING AT MAY 18, 2015: 3,967,215,647 shares
 


Table of Contents

SPRINT CORPORATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Page
Reference  
Item
PART I
 
1.
1A.
1B.
2.
3.
4.
 
 
 
 
PART II
 
5.
6.
7.
7A.
8.
9.
9A.
9B.
 
 
 
 
PART III
 
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
 
 
 
 
PART IV
 
15.






Table of Contents

SPRINT CORPORATION
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
PART I


Item 1.
Business
FORMATION
Sprint Corporation, incorporated in 2012 under the laws of Delaware, is a holding company, with operations conducted by its subsidiaries. Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol "S."
On July 9, 2013, Sprint Nextel Corporation, a Kansas corporation organized in 1938 (Sprint Nextel), completed the acquisition of the remaining equity interests in Clearwire Corporation and its consolidated subsidiary Clearwire Communications LLC (together "Clearwire") that it did not previously own (Clearwire Acquisition) in an all cash transaction for approximately $3.5 billion, net of cash acquired of $198 million, which provided us with control of 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum and tower resources.
On July 10, 2013, SoftBank Corp. and certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries (together, "SoftBank") completed the merger (SoftBank Merger) with Sprint Nextel as contemplated by the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of October 15, 2012 (as amended, the Merger Agreement) and the Bond Purchase Agreement, dated as of October 15, 2012 (as amended, the Bond Agreement). As a result of the SoftBank Merger, Starburst II, Inc. (Starburst II) became the parent company of Sprint Nextel. Immediately thereafter, Starburst II changed its name to Sprint Corporation and Sprint Nextel changed its name to Sprint Communications, Inc. (Sprint Communications). As a result of the completion of the SoftBank Merger in which SoftBank acquired an approximate 78% interest in Sprint Corporation, and subsequent open market stock purchases, SoftBank owned approximately 79% of the outstanding common stock of Sprint Corporation as of March 31, 2015.
Successor and Predecessor Periods and Reporting Obligations
In connection with the close of the SoftBank Merger (as described above), Sprint Corporation became the successor registrant to Sprint Nextel under Rule 12g-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and is the entity subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act for filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subsequent to the close of the SoftBank Merger. The financial information herein distinguishes between the predecessor period (Predecessor) relating to Sprint Communications for periods prior to the SoftBank Merger and the successor period (Successor) relating to Sprint Corporation, formerly known as Starburst II, for periods subsequent to the incorporation of Starburst II on October 5, 2012. In addition, in order to align with SoftBank’s reporting schedule, we changed our fiscal year end from December 31 to March 31, effective March 31, 2014. References herein to any fiscal year refer to the twelve-month period ending March 31 unless otherwise specifically noted.
OVERVIEW
Sprint Corporation and its subsidiaries is a communications company offering a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications products and services that are designed to meet the needs of consumers, businesses, government subscribers and resellers. Unless the context otherwise requires, references to "Sprint," "we," "us," "our" and the "Company" mean Sprint Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries for all periods presented, inclusive of Successor and Predecessor periods, and references to "Sprint Communications" are to Sprint Communications, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. We are the third largest wireless communications company in the U.S. based on wireless revenue, as well as a provider of wireline services. Our services are provided through our ownership of extensive wireless networks, an all-digital global wireline network and a Tier 1 Internet backbone.
We offer wireless and wireline services to subscribers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands under the Sprint corporate brand, which includes our retail brands of Sprint®, Boost Mobile®, Virgin Mobile®, and Assurance Wireless® on our wireless networks utilizing various technologies including third generation (3G) code division multiple access (CDMA), fourth generation (4G) services utilizing Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) technologies (which we expect to shut-down by the end of calendar year 2015). We utilize these networks to offer our wireless and wireline subscribers differentiated products and services whether through the use of a single network or a combination of these networks.

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Our Business Segments
We operate two reportable segments: Wireless and Wireline. For additional information regarding our segments, see "Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and also refer to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Wireless
We offer wireless services on a postpaid and prepaid payment basis to retail subscribers and also on a wholesale basis, which includes the sale of wireless services that utilize the Sprint network but are sold under the wholesaler's brand. We continue to support the open development of applications, content, and devices on the Sprint platform. In addition, we enable a variety of business and consumer third-party relationships through our portfolio of machine-to-machine solutions, which we offer on a retail postpaid and wholesale basis. Our machine-to-machine solutions portfolio provides a secure, real-time and reliable wireless two-way data connection across a broad range of connected devices.
Postpaid
In our postpaid portfolio, we offer several price plans for both consumer and business subscribers. Many of our price plans include unlimited talk, text and data or allow subscribers to purchase monthly data allowances. We also offer family plans that include multiple lines of service under one account. We offer these plans with traditional subsidy, installment billing or leasing programs. The traditional subsidy program requires a signed service contract and allows for a subscriber to either bring their handset or purchase one at a discount for a new line of service. Our installment billing program does not require a signed fixed-term service contract and offers service plans at lower monthly rates compared to traditional subsidy plans, but requires the subscriber to pay full or near full price for the handset over monthly installments. Our leasing program also does not require a signed fixed-term service contract, provides for service plans at lower monthly rates compared to traditional subsidy plans and allows qualified subscribers to lease a handset and make payments for the handset over the life of the lease. At the end of the lease term, the subscriber can either turn in the handset, continue leasing the handset or purchase the handset. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Subscribers who purchase a device on an installment billing basis are no longer required to sign a fixed-term service contract, which could result in higher churn and higher bad debt expense" and "—Because we are one of the first wireless service providers to lease devices to subscribers, our device leasing program exposes us to new risks, including those related to the actual residual value realized on returned devices, higher churn and higher bad debt expense."
Prepaid
Our prepaid portfolio currently includes multiple brands, each designed to appeal to specific subscriber uses and demographics. Sprint prepaid primarily serves subscribers who want plans that are affordable, simple and flexible without a long-term commitment. Boost Mobile primarily serves subscribers with plans that offer unlimited text and talk with step pricing based on their preferred data usage. Virgin Mobile primarily serves subscribers through plans that offer control, flexibility and connectivity through various plan options. Virgin Mobile is also designated as a Lifeline-only Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in certain states and provides service for the Lifeline program under our Assurance Wireless brand. Assurance Wireless provides eligible subscribers, in certain states, who meet income requirements or are receiving government assistance, with a free wireless phone, 250 free local and long-distance voice minutes each month and unlimited free texts under the Lifeline Program.
Wholesale
We have focused our wholesale business on enabling our diverse network of customers to successfully grow their business by providing them with an array of network, product and device solutions. This allows our customers to customize this full suite of value-added solutions to meet the growing demands of their businesses. As part of these growing demands, some of our wholesale mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) are also selling prepaid services under the Lifeline program.
Services and Products
Data & Voice Services
Wireless data communications services include mobile productivity applications, such as Internet access, messaging and email services; wireless photo and video offerings; location-based capabilities, including asset and fleet management, dispatch services and navigation tools; and mobile entertainment applications, including the ability to view live television, listen to satellite radio, download and listen to music, and play games. Wireless voice communications services include basic local and long-distance wireless voice services throughout the U.S., as well as voicemail, call waiting, three-way calling, caller identification, directory assistance and call forwarding. We also provide voice and data services in numerous countries outside

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of the U.S. through roaming arrangements. We offer customized design, development, implementation and support for wireless services provided to large companies and government agencies.
Products
Our services are provided using a broad array of devices and applications and services that run on these devices to meet the growing needs of subscriber mobility. Our device portfolio includes many cutting edge handsets from various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as hotspots, which allow the connection of multiple WiFi enabled devices to the Sprint platform and embedded tablets and laptop devices. We have historically sold these handsets at prices below our cost in response to competition to attract new subscribers and as retention inducements for existing subscribers. Subscribers now have additional options to purchase eligible devices through our installment billing program, Sprint Easy PaySM, or to lease eligible devices through our lease program. In addition, we sell accessories, such as carrying cases, hands-free devices and other items to subscribers, and we sell devices and accessories to agents and other third-party distributors for resale.
Wireless Network Technologies
We deliver wireless services to subscribers primarily through our Sprint platform network. Our Sprint platform uses primarily 3G CDMA and 4G LTE wireless technologies. We continue to serve customers utilizing WiMAX technology, although we expect to shut our WiMAX network down by the end of calendar year 2015. Our 3G CDMA wireless technology uses a digital spread-spectrum technique that allows a large number of users to access the band by assigning a code to all voice and data bits, sending a scrambled transmission of the encoded bits over the air and reassembling the voice and data into its original format. Our 4G LTE wireless data communications technology utilizes an all-internet protocol (IP) network to deliver high-speed data communications. To integrate voice into LTE, we expect to use Voice over LTE technology (VoLTE). We provide nationwide service through a combination of operating our own network in both major and smaller U.S. metropolitan areas and rural connecting routes, affiliations under commercial arrangements with third-party affiliates and roaming on other providers' networks.
Sales, Marketing and Customer Care
We focus the marketing and sales of wireless services on targeted groups of retail subscribers: individual consumers, businesses and government.
We use a variety of sales channels to attract new subscribers of wireless services, including:
direct sales representatives whose efforts are focused on marketing and selling wireless services primarily to mid-sized to large businesses and government agencies;
retail outlets, owned and operated by us, that focus on sales to the small business and consumer markets;
indirect sales agents and third-party retailers that primarily consist of local and national non-affiliated dealers and independent contractors that market and sell services to businesses and the consumer market, and are generally paid through commissions; and
subscriber-convenient channels, including Internet sales and telesales.
Effective April 1, 2015, Sprint entered into an agreement with General Wireless, who recently acquired 1,743 retail outlets of RadioShack Corporation (RadioShack) pursuant to a bankruptcy auction. Under the arrangement, General Wireless and Sprint are establishing co-branded Sprint-RadioShack retail stores at 1,435 locations throughout the U.S. Using a store-within-a-store concept, the co-branded stores will exclusively sell or lease Sprint devices and the associated postpaid and prepaid service plans as well as RadioShack products, warranties, services and accessories. The arrangement is designed to provide Sprint with a substantial increase in its direct retail footprint.
We market our postpaid services under the Sprint brand. We market our prepaid services under the Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Assurance Wireless brands as a means to provide value-driven prepaid service plans to particular markets. Our wholesale customers are resellers of our wireless services rather than end-use subscribers and market their products and services using their own brands.
Although we market our services using traditional print, digital and television advertising, we also provide exposure to our brand names and wireless services through various sponsorships. The goal of these marketing initiatives is to increase brand awareness and sales.
Our customer care organization works to improve our subscribers' experience, with the goal of retaining subscribers of our wireless services and growing their long-term relationships with Sprint. Customer service call centers receive and resolve inquiries from subscribers and proactively address subscriber needs.

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Competition
We believe that the market for wireless services has been and will continue to be characterized by competition on the basis of price, the types of services and devices offered and quality of service. We compete with a number of wireless carriers, including three other national wireless companies: AT&T, Verizon Wireless (Verizon) and T-Mobile. Our primary competitors offer voice, high-speed data, entertainment and location-based services and push-to-talk-type features that are designed to compete with our products and services. AT&T and Verizon also offer competitive wireless services packaged with local and long distance voice, high-speed Internet services and cable and have significant competitive advantages due to their large asset bases and greater scale. Our prepaid services compete with a number of carriers and resellers including TracFone Wireless, which offers competitively-priced calling plans that include unlimited local calling. Additionally, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon also offer competitive prepaid services and wholesale services to resellers. Competition may intensify as a result of mergers and acquisitions, as new firms enter the market, and as a result of the introduction of other technologies, the availability of additional commercial spectrum bands, such as the 600 megahertz (MHz) band, the AWS-3 band and the AWS-4 band, and the potential introduction of new services using unlicensed spectrum. Wholesale services and products also contribute to increased competition. In some instances, resellers that use our network and offer similar services compete against our offerings.
Most markets in which we operate have high rates of penetration for wireless services, thereby limiting the growth of subscribers of wireless services. As the wireless market has matured, it has become increasingly important to retain existing subscribers in addition to attracting new subscribers, particularly in less saturated growth markets such as those with non-traditional data demands. Wireless carriers are addressing the growth in non-traditional data needs by working with OEMs to integrate connected devices such as after-market in-vehicle connectivity, point-of-sale systems, kiosks and vending machines, asset tracking, digital signage, security, smartgrid utilities, medical equipment and a variety of other consumer electronics and appliances, which utilize wireless networks to increase consumer and business mobility. In addition, we and our competitors continue to offer more service plans that combine voice, text and data offerings, plans that allow users to add additional devices, including tablets, to their plans at attractive rates, plans with unlimited data included in the fixed monthly charge for the plan, plans that offer the ability to share data among a group of related subscribers, or combinations of these features. Consumers respond to these plans by electing those they deem most attractive. In addition, wireless carriers also try to appeal to subscribers by offering certain devices at prices lower than their acquisition cost, which we refer to as our traditional subsidy program. We may offer higher cost devices at greater discounts than our competitors, with the expectation that the loss incurred on the cost of the device will be offset by future service revenue. As a result, we and our competitors recognize point-of-sale losses that are not expected to be recovered until future periods when services are provided.
Wireless carriers now offer plans that allow subscribers to forgo traditional service contracts and handset subsidies in exchange for lower monthly service fees, early upgrade options, or both. AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile also offer programs that include an option to purchase a handset using an installment billing program. Under installment billing programs, many carriers, including Sprint, recognize a majority of the revenue associated with future expected installment payments at the time of sale of the device. As compared to traditional subsidized plans, this results in better alignment of equipment revenue with the cost of the device, which reduces the amount of equipment net subsidy recognized in our operating results. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Subscribers who purchase a device on an installment billing basis are no longer required to sign a fixed-term service contract, which could result in higher churn and higher bad debt expense."
Our ability to effectively compete in the wireless business is dependent upon our ability to retain existing and attract new subscribers in an increasingly competitive marketplace. In response to the increased competition, Sprint launched its industry-first, innovative leasing program. As with our installment billing program, our leasing program does not require a signed fixed-term service contract, provides for service plans at lower monthly rates compared to traditional subsidy plans and allows qualified subscribers to lease a handset and make payments for the handset over the life of the lease. At the end of the lease term, the subscriber can either turn in the handset, continue leasing the handset or purchase the handset. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—If we are not able to retain and attract profitable wireless subscribers, our financial performance will be impaired" and "—Because we are one of the first wireless service providers to lease devices to subscribers, our device leasing program exposes us to new risks including those related to the actual residual value realized on returned devices, higher churn and higher bad debt expense."
Wireline
We provide a broad suite of wireline services to other communications companies and targeted business and consumer subscribers. In addition, we provide services to our Wireless segment. Our services are provided through an all-digital global wireline network and a Tier 1 Internet backbone.

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Services and Products
Our services and products include domestic and international data communications using various protocols such as multiprotocol label switching technologies (MPLS), IP, managed network services, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) and traditional voice services. Our IP services can also be combined with wireless services. Such services include our Sprint Mobile Integration service, which enables a wireless handset to operate as part of a subscriber's wireline voice network, and our DataLinkSM service, which uses our wireless networks to connect a subscriber location into their primarily wireline wide-area IP/MPLS data network, making it easy for businesses to adapt their network to changing business requirements. In addition to providing services to our business customers, a significant amount of voice and data traffic on our wireline network originates from our Wireless segment as a result of growing usage by our wireless subscribers.
We continue to assess the portfolio of services provided by our Wireline business and are focusing our efforts on IP-based services and de-emphasizing stand-alone voice services and non-IP-based data services. Our Wireline segment markets and sells its services primarily through direct sales representatives.
Competition
Our Wireline segment competes with AT&T, Verizon Communications, CenturyLink, Level 3 Communications, Inc., other major local incumbent operating companies and cable operators, as well as a host of smaller competitors in the provision of wireline services. Over the past few years, our voice services have experienced an industry-wide trend of lower revenue from lower prices and increased competition from other wireline and wireless communications companies, as well as cable multiple system operators (MSOs) and Internet service providers.
Some competitors are targeting the high-end data market and are offering deeply discounted rates in exchange for high-volume traffic as they attempt to utilize excess capacity in their networks. In addition, we face increasing competition from other wireless and IP-based service providers. Many carriers, including cable companies, are competing in the residential and small business markets by offering bundled packages of both voice and data services. Competition in wireline services is based on price and pricing plans, the types of services offered, customer service and communications quality, reliability and availability. Our ability to compete successfully will depend on our ability to anticipate and respond to various competitive factors affecting the industry, including new services that may be introduced, changes in consumer preferences, demographic trends, economic conditions and pricing strategies. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Competition, industry consolidation, and technological changes in the market for wireless services could negatively affect our operations, resulting in adverse effects on our revenues, cash flows, growth, and profitability."
Legislative and Regulatory Developments
Overview
Communications services are subject to regulation at the federal level by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in certain states by public utilities commissions (PUCs). Since the SoftBank Merger, we have been subject to regulatory conditions imposed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) pursuant to a National Security Agreement (NSA) among SoftBank, Sprint, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense (the latter three collectively, the USG Parties). Other federal agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have also asserted jurisdiction over our business.
The following is a summary of the regulatory environment in which we operate and does not describe all present and proposed federal, state and local legislation and regulations affecting the communications industry. Some legislation and regulations are the subject of judicial proceedings, legislative hearings and administrative proceedings that could change the way our industry operates. We cannot predict the outcome of any of these matters or their potential impact on our business. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Government regulation could adversely affect our prospects and results of operations; the federal and state regulatory commissions may adopt new regulations or take other actions that could adversely affect our business prospects, future growth or results of operations."
Regulation and Wireless Operations
The FCC regulates the licensing, construction, operation, acquisition and sale of our wireless operations and wireless spectrum holdings. FCC requirements impose operating and other restrictions on our wireless operations that increase our costs. The FCC does not currently regulate rates for services offered by commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers, and states are legally preempted from regulating such rates and entry into any market, although states may regulate other terms and conditions. The Communications Act of 1934 (Communications Act) and FCC rules also require the FCC's prior approval of the assignment or transfer of control of an FCC license, although the FCC's rules permit spectrum lease

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arrangements for a range of wireless radio service licenses, including our licenses, with FCC oversight. Approval from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, as well as state or local regulatory authorities, also may be required if we sell or acquire spectrum interests. The FCC sets rules, regulations and policies to, among other things:
grant licenses in the 800 MHz band, 1.9 GHz PCS band, 2.5 GHz band, and license renewals;
rule on assignments and transfers of control of FCC licenses, and leases covering our use of FCC licenses held by other persons and organizations;
govern the interconnection of our networks with other wireless and wireline carriers;
establish access and universal service funding provisions;
impose rules related to unauthorized use of and access to subscriber information;
impose fines and forfeitures for violations of FCC rules;
regulate the technical standards governing wireless services; and
impose other obligations that it determines to be in the public interest
We hold 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz FCC licenses authorizing the use of radio frequency spectrum to deploy our wireless services.
800 MHz License Conditions
Spectrum in our 800 MHz band originally was licensed in small groups of channels, therefore, we hold thousands of these licenses, which together allow us to provide coverage across much of the continental U.S. Our 800 MHz licenses are subject to requirements that we meet population coverage benchmarks tied to the initial license grant dates. To date, we have met all of the construction requirements applicable to these licenses, except in the case of licenses that are not material to our business. Our 800 MHz licenses have ten-year terms, at the end of which each license is subject to renewal requirements that are similar to those for our 1.9 GHz licenses described below.
1.9 GHz PCS License Conditions
All PCS licenses are granted for ten-year terms. For purposes of issuing PCS licenses, the FCC utilizes major trading areas (MTAs) and basic trading areas (BTAs) with several BTAs making up each MTA. Each license is subject to build-out requirements, which we have met in all of our MTA and BTA markets.
If applicable build-out conditions are met, these licenses may be renewed for additional ten-year terms. Renewal applications are not subject to auctions. If a renewal application is challenged, the FCC grants a preference commonly referred to as a license renewal expectancy to the applicant if the applicant can demonstrate that it has provided "substantial service" during the past license term and has substantially complied with applicable FCC rules and policies and the Communications Act. The licenses for the 10 MHz of spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band that we received as part of the FCC's Report and Order, described below, have ten-year terms and are not subject to specific build-out conditions, but are subject to renewal requirements that are similar to those for our PCS licenses.
2.5 GHz License Conditions
We hold licenses for or lease spectrum located within the 2496 to 2690 MHz band, commonly referred to as the 2.5 GHz band, which is designated for Broadband Radio Services (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS). Most BRS and EBS licenses are allocated to specific, relatively small geographic service areas. Other BRS licenses provide for one of 493 separate BTAs. Under current FCC rules, the BRS and EBS band in each territory is generally divided into 33 channels consisting of a total of 186 MHz of spectrum, with an additional eight MHz of guard band spectrum, which further protects against interference from other license holders. Under current FCC rules, we can access BRS spectrum either through outright ownership of a BRS license issued by the FCC or through a leasing arrangement with a BRS license holder. The FCC rules generally limit eligibility to hold EBS licenses to accredited educational institutions and certain governmental, religious and nonprofit entities, but permit those license holders to lease up to 95% of their capacity for non-educational purposes. Therefore, we primarily access EBS spectrum through long-term leasing arrangements with EBS license holders. Our EBS spectrum leases typically have an initial term equal to the remaining term of the EBS license, with an option to renew the lease for additional terms, for a total lease term of up to 30 years. In addition, we generally have a right of first refusal for a period of time after our leases expire or otherwise terminate to match another party's offer to lease the same spectrum. Our leases are generally transferable, assuming we obtain required governmental approvals. Achieving optimal broadband network speeds, capacity and coverage using 2.5 GHz spectrum relies in significant part on operationalizing a complex mixture of BRS and EBS spectrum licenses and leases in the desired service areas, which is subject to the EBS licensing limitations described above and the technical limitations of the frequencies in the 2.5 GHz range.

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Spectrum Reconfiguration Obligations
In 2004, the FCC adopted a Report and Order that included new rules regarding interference in the 800 MHz band and a comprehensive plan to reconfigure the 800 MHz band (the "Report and Order"). The Report and Order provides for the exchange of a portion of our 800 MHz FCC spectrum licenses, and requires us to fund the cost incurred by public safety systems and other incumbent licensees to reconfigure the 800 MHz spectrum band. Also, in exchange, we received licenses for 10 MHz of nationwide spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band.
The minimum cash obligation under the Report and Order is $2.8 billion. We are, however, obligated to pay the full amount of the costs relating to the reconfiguration plan, even if those costs exceed $2.8 billion. As required under the terms of the Report and Order, a letter of credit has been secured to provide assurance that funds will be available to pay the relocation costs of the incumbent users of the 800 MHz spectrum. The letter of credit was initially required to be $2.5 billion, but has been reduced during the course of the proceeding to $406 million as of March 31, 2015. Total payments directly attributable to our performance under the Report and Order, from the inception of the program through March 31, 2015, were approximately $3.4 billion. Payments incurred during the year ended March 31, 2015 primarily related to FCC licenses. When incurred, substantially all costs are accounted for as additions to FCC licenses with the remainder as property, plant and equipment. Although costs incurred through March 31, 2015 have exceeded $2.8 billion, not all of those costs have been reviewed and accepted as eligible by the transition administrator.
Completion of the 800 MHz band reconfiguration was initially required by June 26, 2008 and public safety reconfiguration is nearly complete across the country with the exception of Washington State and the four states that share a common border with Mexico. The FCC continues to grant the remaining 800 MHz public safety licensees additional time to complete their band reconfigurations which, in turn, delays our access to our 800 MHz replacement channels in these areas. In the areas where band reconfiguration is complete Sprint has received its replacement spectrum in the 800 MHz band and is deploying 3G CDMA and 4G LTE on this spectrum in combination with its spectrum in the 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands.
New Spectrum Opportunities and Spectrum Auctions
Several FCC proceedings and initiatives are underway that may affect the availability of spectrum used or useful in the provision of commercial wireless services, which may allow new competitors to enter the wireless market. While in general we cannot predict when or whether the FCC will conduct any spectrum auctions or if it will release additional spectrum that might be useful to wireless carriers, including us, in the future, the FCC has taken steps to license spectrum designated for auction in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. In particular, the FCC has initiated three proceedings to auction the advanced wireless services H Block, advanced wireless services in the 1.7 and 2 GHz bands (AWS-3), and to reallocate and auction broadcast spectrum in the 600 MHz Band. We did not participate in the H Block and AWS-3 auctions.
The FCC intends to commence the 600 MHz Broadcast Incentive auction in early 2016. For the 600 MHz Incentive Auction, the FCC has adopted rules that include “reserved” channels whereby, if certain auction conditions are met, Sprint would be eligible to bid for the reserved channels while carriers that exceed a certain threshold of low band spectrum holdings would not. Sprint would also be able to bid on the “unreserved” channels. Sprint evaluates all opportunities to acquire additional spectrum; however, it is premature to make any firm participation decisions at this time as the FCC is still considering the applicable auction processes and procedures. 
911 Services
Pursuant to FCC rules, CMRS providers, including us, are required to provide enhanced 911 (E911) services including, depending upon the capabilities of the requesting public safety answering point (PSAP), the location of the cell site from which the call is being made or the location of the subscriber's handset using latitude and longitude. CMRS providers are also now required to provide text-to-911 services upon request by a capable PSAP. The FCC recently revised the location accuracy standards for the provision of wireless 911 services indoors and these requirements may impose additional obligations.
Cyber Security
Cyber security continues to receive attention at the federal, state and local levels. Congress is considering cybersecurity legislation to increase the security and resiliency of the nation's digital infrastructure. In addition, over the past few years the President has issued executive orders directing the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies to take a number of steps to improve the security of the nation's critical infrastructure. Additionally, the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council approved Cybersecurity Risk Management and Best Practices, a report providing the communication industry guidance in using the National Institute of Standards and

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Technology Cybersecurity Framework. Implementation of these guidelines or the adoption of further cyber security laws or regulation may impose additional costs on Sprint. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our reputation and business may be harmed and we may be subject to legal claims if there is a loss, disclosure, misappropriation of, unauthorized access to, or other security breach of our proprietary or sensitive information.”
National Security Agreement
As a precondition to CFIUS approval of the SoftBank Merger, the USG Parties required that SoftBank and Sprint enter into the NSA, under which SoftBank and Sprint have agreed to implement certain measures to protect national security, certain of which may materially and adversely affect our operating results due to the increased cost of compliance with security measures, and limits over our control of certain U.S. facilities, contracts, personnel, vendor selection and operations. If we fail to comply with our obligations under the NSA our ability to operate our business may be adversely affected. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Regulatory authorities have imposed measures to protect national security and classified projects as well as other conditions that could have an adverse effect on Sprint.”
State and Local Regulation
While the Communications Act generally preempts state and local governments from regulating entry of, or the rates charged by, wireless carriers, certain state PUCs and local governments regulate customer billing, termination of service arrangements, advertising, certification of operation, use of handsets when driving, service quality, sales practices, management of customer call records and protected information and many other areas. Also, some state attorneys general have become more active in bringing lawsuits related to the sales practices and services of wireless carriers. Varying practices among the states may make it more difficult for us to implement national sales and marketing programs. States also may impose their own universal service support requirements on wireless and other communications carriers, similar to the contribution requirements that have been established by the FCC, and some states are requiring wireless carriers to help fund additional programs, including the implementation of E911 and the provision of intrastate relay services for consumers who are hearing impaired. We anticipate that these trends will continue to require us to devote legal and other resources to work with the states to respond to their concerns while attempting to minimize any new regulation and enforcement actions that could increase our costs of doing business.
Regulation and Wireline Operations
Competitive Local Service
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Telecom Act), which was the first comprehensive update of the Communications Act, was designed to promote competition, and it eliminated legal and regulatory barriers for entry into local and long distance communications markets. It also required incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to allow resale of specified local services at wholesale rates, negotiate interconnection agreements, provide nondiscriminatory access to certain unbundled network elements and allow co-location of interconnection equipment by competitors. The rules implementing the Telecom Act continue to be interpreted by the courts, state PUCs and the FCC, and Congress is considering possible changes to the Telecom Act. Further restrictions on the pro-competitive aspects of the Telecom Act could adversely affect Sprint’s operations.
International Regulation
The wireline services we provide outside the U.S. are subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of foreign governments and international bodies. In general, we are required to obtain licenses to provide wireline services and comply with certain government requirements.
Other Regulations
Network Neutrality
On December 22, 2010, the FCC adopted so-called net neutrality rules, which prohibited broadband Internet access service providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination and blocking of lawful Internet content, while requiring carriers to provide greater transparency regarding their network management practices. On January 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the majority of the FCC’s rules, leaving in place only the "transparency" rule applicable to both fixed and mobile operators.
On February 26, 2015, the FCC issued an order reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to Title II of the Communications Act and promulgated new net neutrality rules applicable to both mobile and fixed service providers. The new rules, when effective, will prohibit: (1) blocking of lawful

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content, applications, services and non-harmful devices; (2) impairing or degrading Internet traffic on the basis of content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device; and (3) prioritization or favoring of some network traffic over other traffic either in exchange for consideration (monetary or otherwise) from a third party, or to benefit an affiliated entity. All of these prohibitions are subject to a “reasonable network management” exception. The new rules continue the 2010 “transparency” rule with minor clarifications. In addition, the order established a new rule, to be applied on a case by case basis, prohibiting broadband Internet access providers from unreasonably interfering with or disadvantaging end users’ ability to use the Internet to access lawful content, applications, service, or devices of their choice, or edge providers’ ability to make such content applications, services, or devices available to end users. Depending upon the interpretation and application of these new rules, we may incur additional costs or be limited in the services we can provide.
Truth in Billing and Consumer Protection
The FCC's Truth in Billing rules require both wireline and wireless telecommunications carriers, such as us, to provide full and fair disclosure of all charges on their bills, including brief, clear, and non-misleading plain language descriptions of the services provided. The FCC has opened several proceedings to address issues of consumer protection, including the use of early termination fees, "bill shock" (i.e., overage charges for voice, data and text usage) and has proposed new rules to address cramming. The wireless industry has proactively addressed many of these consumer issues by adopting industry best practices, such as the addition of free notifications regarding voice, data, messaging and international roaming usage. If these FCC proceedings or individual state proceedings create changes in the Truth in Billing rules, our billing and customer service costs could increase.
Access Charges
ILECs and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) impose access charges for the origination and termination of calls upon wireless and long distance carriers, including our Wireless and Wireline segments. In addition, ILECs and CLECs charge other carriers special access charges for access to dedicated facilities that are paid by both our Wireless and Wireline segments. These fees and charges are a significant cost for our Wireless and Wireline segments. In November 2011, the FCC adopted comprehensive intercarrier compensation reforms, including a multi-year transition to a system of bill-and-keep for terminating switched access charges. These reforms have decreased and are expected to continue to decrease our terminating switched access expense over time.
The FCC also has initiated a further notice of proposed rulemaking to consider whether special access pricing flexibility rules need to be changed, and whether the terms and conditions governing the provision of special access are just and reasonable. As a part of that proceeding, the FCC initiated a mandatory data collection effort, which was completed in early 2015. That proceeding is ongoing with comments currently scheduled for the summer of 2015. We continue to advocate for special access reform but cannot predict when these proceedings will be completed or the outcome of these proceedings.
Universal Service
Communications carriers contribute to and receive support from various Universal Service Funds (USF) established by the FCC and many states. The federal USF program funds services provided in high-cost areas, reduced-rate services to low-income consumers, and discounted communications and Internet services for schools, libraries and rural health care facilities. Similarly, many states have established their own USFs to which we contribute. The FCC has considered changing its USF contribution methodology, which could impact the amount of our assessments.
The Lifeline program is included within the USFs. Virgin Mobile was designated as a Lifeline-only Eligible Telecom Carrier (ETC) in 41 jurisdictions as of March 31, 2015, and provides service under our Assurance Wireless brand. As a Lifeline provider, Assurance Wireless receives support from the USF. Changes in the Lifeline program and enforcement actions by the FCC and other regulatory/legislative bodies could negatively impact growth in the Assurance Wireless and wholesale subscriber base and/or the profitability of the Assurance Wireless and wholesale business overall.
Electronic Surveillance Obligations
The CALEA requires telecommunications carriers, including us, to modify equipment, facilities and services to allow for authorized electronic surveillance based on either industry or FCC standards. Our CALEA obligations have been extended to data and VoIP networks, and we are in compliance with these requirements. Certain laws and regulations require that we assist various government agencies with electronic surveillance of communications and provide records concerning those communications. We do not disclose customer information to the government or assist government agencies in electronic surveillance unless we have been provided a lawful request for such information. If our obligations under these laws and regulations were to change or were to become the focus of any inquiry or investigation, it could require us to incur additional costs and expenses, which could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operation.

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Environmental Compliance
Our environmental compliance and remediation obligations relate primarily to the operation of standby power generators, batteries and fuel storage for our telecommunications equipment. These obligations require compliance with storage and related standards, obtaining of permits and occasional remediation. Although we cannot assess with certainty the impact of any future compliance and remediation obligations, we do not believe that any such expenditures will adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.
Patents, Trademarks and Licenses
We own numerous patents, patent applications, service marks, trademarks and other intellectual property in the U.S. and other countries, including "Sprint®," "Nextel®," "Direct Connect®," "Boost Mobile®" and "Assurance Wireless®." Our services often use the intellectual property of others, such as licensed software, and we often license copyrights, patents and trademarks of others, like "Virgin Mobile." In total, these licenses and our copyrights, patents, trademarks and service marks are of material importance to our business. Generally, our trademarks and service marks endure and are enforceable so long as they continue to be used. Our patents and licensed patents have remaining terms generally ranging from one to 19 years. We occasionally license our intellectual property to others, including licenses to others to use the "Sprint" trademark.
We have received claims in the past, and may in the future receive claims, that we, or third parties from whom we license or purchase goods or services, have infringed on the intellectual property of others. These claims can be time-consuming and costly to defend, and divert management resources. If these claims are successful, we could be forced to pay significant damages or stop selling certain products or services or stop using certain trademarks. We, or third parties from whom we license or purchase goods or services, also could enter into licenses with unfavorable terms, including royalty payments, which could adversely affect our business.
Access to Public Filings and Board Committee Charters
Important information is routinely posted on our website at www.sprint.com. Public access is provided to our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports filed with or furnished to the SEC under the Exchange Act. These documents may be accessed free of charge on our website at the following address: http://www.sprint.com/investors. These documents are available as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the SEC and may also be found at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Information contained on or accessible through our website or the SEC's website is not part of this annual report on Form 10-K.
Our Code of Ethics, the Sprint Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct), our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters of the following committees of our board of directors: the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee may be accessed free of charge on our website at the following address: www.sprint.com/governance. Copies of any of these documents can be obtained free of charge by writing to: Sprint Shareholder Relations, 6200 Sprint Parkway, Mailstop KSOPHF0302-3B424, Overland Park, Kansas 66251 or by email at shareholder.relations@sprint.com. If a provision of the Code of Conduct required under the NYSE corporate governance standards is materially modified, or if a waiver of the Code of Conduct is granted to a director or executive officer, a notice of such action will be posted on our website at the following address: www.sprint.com/governance. Only the Audit Committee may consider a waiver of the Code of Conduct for an executive officer or director.
Employee Relations
As of March 31, 2015, we had approximately 31,000 employees.

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Executive Officers of the Registrant
The following people are serving as our executive officers as of May 26, 2015. These executive officers were elected to serve until their successors have been elected. There is no familial relationship between any of our executive officers and directors.
Name
Business Experience
Current
Position
Held
Since
Age
Marcelo Claure
President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Claure was named President and CEO, effective August 11, 2014, and has served on the Sprint board of directors since January 2014. Prior to this, he was CEO of Brightstar, a company he founded in 1997 and grew from a small Miami-based distributor into a global business with more than $10 billion in gross revenue for the year ended 2013. Marcelo serves on the board of directors of CTIA-The Wireless Association and is a member of its 2015 Executive Committee. He also is a member of the board of directors of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.
2014
44
Joseph Euteneuer
Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Euteneuer served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Qwest, a wireline telecom company, from September  2008 until April 2011. Previously, Mr. Euteneuer served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., a satellite radio provider, from 2002 to 2008 after it merged with SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Inc. Prior to joining XM, Mr. Euteneuer held various management positions at Comcast Corporation and its subsidiary, Broadnet Europe. He began his career in public accounting in 1978 with Deloitte and has also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
2011
59
Junichi Miyakawa
Technical Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Miyakawa was appointed Technical Chief Operating Officer in November 2014. Mr. Miyakawa is responsible for overseeing the company’s network and technology organizations, including related strategy, network operations and performance, as well as partnerships with network equipment vendors. Prior to Sprint, Mr. Miyakawa led SoftBank Group’s network operations. He joined SoftBank BB as a Board Director in 2003 and served as Executive Vice President, Board Director and CTO for SoftBank Mobile, SoftBank BB, and SoftBank Telecom. Under his direction, SoftBank emerged as a wireless market leader in Japan with a network running on 2.5 GHz spectrum, a key band within the Sprint spectrum portfolio. Before joining SoftBank, Miyakawa was CEO of Nagoya Metallic Communications Corp.
2014
49
John Saw Ph.D.
Chief Network Officer. Dr. Saw was appointed as Chief Network Officer in March 2014. Dr. Saw is responsible for network engineering, deployment and operations. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President, Technology Architecture.  Before Sprint’s acquisition of Clearwire, Dr. Saw was Chief Technology Officer of Clearwire Corp. He joined Clearwire as its second employee in 2003 and was instrumental in scaling the company's technical expertise and organization. In 2009 and 2010, he led the Clearwire Team that built the first 4G network in North America, covering more than 130 million people.
2014
53
Stephen Bye
Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Bye was appointed Chief Technology Officer in August 2014. Mr. Bye is responsible for technology innovation and strategy at Sprint. His team covers network architecture and standards, network and spectrum planning, RAN and core network and technology development, field integration, testing, access and roaming. Mr. Bye has more than 22 years of engineering, operations, product development, business planning and marketing experience with telecom, cable and wireless service providers.  Prior to joining Sprint, Mr. Bye was vice president of Wireless at Cox Communications. He has also held executive positions with AT&T, inCode Wireless, BellSouth International, Optus Communications and Telstra.
2014
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Name
Business Experience
Current
Position
Held
Since
Age
Robert Johnson
Chief Experience Officer. Mr. Johnson was appointed Chief Experience Officer in November 2014. Mr. Johnson served as Chief Service Officer of Sprint beginning in October 2007 and his role was expanded to Chief Service and Information Technology Officer in August 2011, and his role was expanded again to President of Retail in October 2013. His role was expanded again to President of Retail in October 2013. He served as President-Northeast Region from September 2006 to October 2007. He served as Senior Vice President-Consumer Sales, Service and Repair from August 2005 to August 2006. He served as Senior Vice President-National Field Operations of Nextel from February 2002 to July 2005.
2014
57
Dow Draper
President – Global Wholesale and Prepaid Services. Mr. Draper manages the sales and marketing for Sprint’s prepaid brands, Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile and Assurance Wireless as well as Sprint’s overall Wholesale business. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Retail for CLEAR, the retail brand of Clearwire, where he oversaw the brand’s sales, marketing, customer care and product development. He served in various executive positions at Clearwire since 2009. Before joining Clearwire, Mr. Draper held various roles at Alltel Wireless, including senior vice president of Voice & Data Solutions and senior vice president of Financial Planning and Analysis. He has also held various roles at Western Wireless and McKinsey and Company.
2013
45
Jaime Jones
President – Postpaid and General Business. Mr. Jones was appointed as President, Postpaid and General Business in August 2014. In this role, he oversees consumer and general business sales strategy and distribution, sales and operations of more than 3,000 company-owned and indirect partner-owned stores, national retail, Telesales and Web sales channels. Before being named to this role, Mr. Jones was responsible for the consumer sales strategy, distribution and customer experience for Sprint’s Postpaid and Prepaid product brands. Mr. Jones has also served Sprint as senior vice president for the General Business and Public Sector organizations, as well as numerous vice president roles at the area, regional and national levels for Local, Emerging and Mid-Markets and General Business units. Mr. Jones has more than 30 years of experience with technology companies, including management and operations roles for Siemens Communications Inc. (formerly IBM, ROLM Systems Division) and Harris/3M-Central Penn Office Products Inc. (formerly 3M Copying Products Division).
2014
54
Charles Wunsch
Senior Vice President  General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Ethics Officer. Mr. Wunsch was appointed Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in October 2008. He served as our Vice President for corporate transactions and business law and has served in various legal positions at the Company since 1990. He was previously an associate and partner at the law firm Watson, Ess, Marshall, and Enggas.
2008
59
Michael Schwartz
Senior Vice President  Corporate Strategy and Development. Mr. Schwartz served as Vice President, Marketing, Corporate Development and Regulatory at Telesat Canada, a satellite communications company, from 2007 to 2012. Previously, Mr. Schwartz served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development of SES New Skies, a satellite company. Prior to joining SES New Skies, he served as Chief Development and Financial Officer of Terabeam Corporation, responsible for business and corporate development as well as financial operations.
2013
50
Paul Schieber, Jr.
Controller. Mr. Schieber previously served in various positions at Sprint since 1991. Most recently he served as Vice President, Access and Roaming Planning, where he was responsible for managing Sprint's roaming costs as well as its wireless and wireline access costs. Prior to that, Mr. Schieber held various leadership roles in Sprint’s Finance organization including heading up Sprint’s internal audit function as well as serving in various Vice President - Finance roles. He was also a director in Sprint’s Tax department and a director on its Mergers and Acquisitions team. Before joining Sprint, Mr. Schieber was a senior manager with public accounting firm Ernst & Young, where he worked as an auditor and a tax consultant. In addition, he served as corporate controller for a small publicly held company.
2013
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Item 1A.
Risk Factors
In addition to the other information contained in this annual report on Form 10-K, the following risk factors should be considered carefully in evaluating us. Our business, financial condition, liquidity or results of operations could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks.
If we are not able to retain and attract profitable wireless subscribers, our financial performance will be impaired.
Our success is based on our ability to retain current subscribers and attract new subscribers. If we are unable to attract and retain profitable wireless subscribers, our financial performance will be impaired, and we could fail to meet our financial obligations. From 2008 through March 31, 2015, we have experienced an aggregate net decrease of approximately 12.7 million million subscribers in our total retail postpaid subscriber base (excluding the impact of our acquisitions).
Our ability to retain our existing subscribers, to compete successfully for new subscribers, and reduce our churn rate depends on, among other things:
our ability to anticipate and respond to various competitive factors, including our successful execution of marketing and sales strategies; the acceptance of our value proposition; service delivery and customer care activities, including new account set up and billing; and execution under credit and collection policies;
our successful deployment of new technologies and services;
actual or perceived quality and coverage of our network;
public perception about our brands;
our ability to anticipate and develop new or enhanced technologies, products, and services that are attractive to existing or potential subscribers;
our ability to access additional spectrum; and
our ability to maintain our current mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) relationships and to enter into new MVNO arrangements.
Our ability to retain subscribers may be negatively affected by industry trends related to subscriber contracts. Recently, we have seen aggressive customer acquisition efforts by our competitors. For example, most service providers are offering wireless service plans without any long-term commitment. Furthermore, some service providers are reimbursing contract termination fees, including paying off the outstanding balance on devices, incurred by new customers in connection with such customers terminating service with their current wireless service providers. Our competitors’ aggressive customer contract terms, such as those described above, could negatively affect our ability to retain subscribers and could lead to an increase in our churn rates if we are not successful in providing an attractive product, price, and service mix.
We expect to continue to incur expenses, such as subsidies, the reimbursement of subscriber termination fees, and other subscriber acquisition and retention expenses, to attract and retain subscribers, but there can be no assurance that our efforts will generate new subscribers or result in a lower churn rate. Subscriber losses and a high churn rate could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations because they result in lost revenues and cash flow.
Moreover, we and our competitors continue to seek a greater proportion of new subscribers from each other’s existing subscriber bases rather than from first-time purchasers. These new subscribers to the Company could include customers with lower credit scores who have a higher delinquency risk. To the extent we cannot compete effectively for new subscribers or if we attract more subscribers that are not creditworthy, our revenues and results of operations could be adversely affected.
The success of our network improvements will depend on the timing, extent, and cost of implementation; access to spectrum; the performance of third-parties and related parties; upgrade requirements; and the availability and reliability of the various technologies required to provide such modernization.
We must continually invest in our wireless network in order to improve our wireless services and remain competitive. The development and deployment of new technologies and services requires us to anticipate the changing demands of our customers and to respond accordingly, which we may not be able to do in a timely or efficient manner.
Improvements in our service depend on many factors, including our ability to predict and adapt to future changes in technologies, changes in consumer demands, changes in pricing and service offerings by our competitors, and continued access to and deployment of adequate spectrum, including any leased spectrum. If we are unable to access spectrum to increase capacity or to deploy the services subscribers desire on a timely basis or at acceptable costs while maintaining

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network quality levels, our ability to attract and retain subscribers could be adversely affected, which would negatively impact our operating results.
If we fail to provide a competitive network, our ability to provide wireless services to our subscribers, to attract and retain subscribers, and to maintain and grow our subscriber revenues could be adversely affected. For example, achieving optimal broadband network speeds, capacity, and coverage using 2.5 GHz spectrum relies in significant part on operationalizing a complex mixture of BRS and EBS spectrum licenses and leases in the desired service areas. The EBS is subject to licensing limitations and the technical limitations of the frequencies in the 2.5 GHz range. See “Item 1. Business-Legislative and Regulatory Developments-Regulation and Wireless Operations-2.5 GHz License Conditions.” If we are unable to operationalize this mixture of licenses and leases, our targeted network modernization goals could be affected.
Using new and sophisticated technologies on a very large scale entails risks. For example, deployment of new technologies from time to time has adversely affected, and in the future may adversely affect, the performance of existing services on our network and result in increased churn. Should implementation of our modernized network be delayed or costs exceed expected amounts, our margins could be adversely affected and such effects could be material. Should the delivery of services expected to be deployed on our modernized network be delayed due to technological constraints or changes, performance of third-party suppliers, regulatory restrictions, including zoning and leasing restrictions, or permit issues, subscriber dissatisfaction, or other reasons, the cost of providing such services could become higher than expected, ultimately increasing our cost to subscribers and resulting in decreases in net subscribers, which would adversely affect our revenues, profitability, and cash flow from operations.
Our high debt levels and restrictive debt covenants could negatively impact our ability to access future financing at attractive rates or at all, which could limit our operating flexibility.
As of March 31, 2015, our consolidated principal amount of indebtedness was $32.7 billion, and we had $3.3 billion of unused borrowing capacity or availability under our revolving bank credit facility and our Receivables Facility. Our high debt levels and debt service requirements are significant in relation to our revenues and cash flow, which may reduce our ability to respond to competition and economic trends in our industry or in the economy generally. In addition, certain agreements governing our indebtedness impose operating restrictions on us, subject to exceptions, including our ability to:
pay dividends;
create liens on our assets;
receive dividend or other payments from certain of our subsidiaries;
enter into transactions with affiliates; and
engage in certain asset sale or business combination transactions.
Our revolving bank credit facility and other financing facilities also require that we maintain certain financial ratios, including a leverage ratio, which could limit our ability to incur additional debt. Our failure to comply with our debt covenants would trigger defaults under those obligations, which could result in the maturities of those debt obligations being accelerated and could in turn result in cross defaults with other debt obligations. Limitations on our ability to obtain suitable financing when needed, or at all, could result in an inability to continue to expand our business, timely execute network modernization plans, and meet competitive challenges.
Subscribers who purchase a device on an installment billing basis are no longer required to sign a fixed-term service contract, which could result in higher churn and higher bad debt expense.
Our service plans allow certain subscribers to purchase an eligible device under an installment contract payable over a period of up to 24 months. Subscribers who take advantage of these plans are no longer required to sign a fixed-term service contract to obtain postpaid service; rather, their service is provided on a month to month contract basis with no early termination fee. These service plans may not meet our subscribers’ or potential subscribers’ needs, expectations, or demands. In addition, subscribers on these plans can discontinue their service at any time without penalty, other than the obligation of any residual commitment they may have for unpaid service or for amounts due under the installment contract for the device. We could experience a higher churn rate than we expect due to the ability of subscribers to more easily change service providers, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Our operational and financial performance may be adversely affected if we are unable to grow our customer base and achieve the customer penetration levels that we anticipate with this business model.
Subscribers who have financed their devices through these plans have the option to pay for their devices in installments over a period of up to 24 months. This program subjects us to increased risks relating to consumer credit issues,

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which could result in increased costs, including increases to our bad debt expense and write-offs of installment billing receivables. These arrangements may be particularly sensitive to changes in general economic conditions, and any declines in the credit quality of our subscriber base could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.
Because we are one of the first wireless service providers to lease devices to subscribers, our device leasing program exposes us to new risks, including those related to the actual residual value realized on returned devices, higher churn and higher bad debt expense.
We also lease devices to certain of our subscribers. Our financial condition and results of operations depend, in part, on our ability to appropriately assess the credit risk of our lease subscribers and the ability of our lease subscribers to perform under our device leases. In addition to monthly lease payments, we expect to realize economic benefit from the estimated residual value of a leased device, which is the estimated value of a leased device at the time of the expiration of the lease term. Changes in residual value assumptions made at lease inception would affect the amount of depreciation expense and the net amount of equipment under operating leases. If estimated residual values, in the aggregate, significantly decline due to economic factors, obsolescence, or other circumstances, we may not realize such residual value, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations. We may also suffer negative consequences, including increased costs, as a result of a lease subscriber default, the related termination of a lease, and the attempted repossession of the device. In addition, subscribers who lease a device are no longer required to sign a fixed-term service contract, which could result in higher churn and higher bad debt expense.
Adverse economic conditions may negatively impact our business and financial performance, as well as our access to financing on acceptable terms or at all.
Our business and financial performance are sensitive to changes in macro-economic conditions, including changes in interest rates, consumer credit conditions, consumer debt levels, consumer confidence, rates of inflation (or concerns about deflation), unemployment rates, energy costs, and other factors. Concerns about these and other factors may contribute to market volatility and economic uncertainty.
Market turbulence and weak economic conditions may materially adversely affect our business and financial performance in a number of ways. Our services are available to a broad customer base, a significant portion of which may be more vulnerable to weak economic conditions. We may have greater difficulty in gaining new subscribers within this segment and existing subscribers may be more likely to terminate service due to an inability to pay. In addition, instability in the global financial markets has resulted in periodic volatility in the credit, equity, and fixed income markets. This volatility could limit our access to the credit markets, leading to higher borrowing costs or, in some cases, the inability to obtain financing on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all.
Weak economic conditions and credit conditions may also adversely impact various third parties on which we rely, some of which have filed for or may be considering bankruptcy, experiencing cash flow or liquidity problems, or are unable to obtain credit such that they may no longer be able to operate. Any of these could adversely impact our ability to distribute, market, or sell our products and services. Difficult, or worsening, general economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Government regulation could adversely affect our prospects and results of operations; federal and state regulatory commissions may adopt new regulations or take other actions that could adversely affect our business prospects, future growth, or results of operations.
The FCC, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal, state and local, as well as international, governmental authorities assert jurisdiction over our business and could adopt regulations or take other actions that would adversely affect our business prospects or results of operations.
The licensing, construction, operation, sale and interconnection arrangements of wireless telecommunications systems are regulated by the FCC and, depending on the jurisdiction, international, state and local regulatory agencies. In particular, the FCC imposes significant regulation on licensees of wireless spectrum with respect to how radio spectrum is used by licensees, the nature of the services that licensees may offer and how the services may be offered, and resolution of issues of interference between spectrum bands. The FCC grants wireless licenses for terms of generally ten years that are subject to renewal and revocation. There is no guarantee that our licenses will be renewed. Failure to comply with the FCC requirements applicable to a given license could result in revocation of that license and, depending on the nature of the non-compliance, other Sprint licenses.

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The FCC recently revised its transactional “spectrum screen” that it uses to identify prospective wireless transactions that may require additional competitive scrutiny. If a proposed transaction would exceed the spectrum screen threshold, the FCC undertakes a more detailed analysis of relevant market conditions in the impacted geographic areas to determine whether the transaction would reduce competition without offsetting public benefits. The revised screen now includes substantial portions of the 2.5 GHz band previously excluded from the screen and that are licensed or leased to Sprint in numerous markets. As a result, future Sprint spectrum acquisitions may exceed the spectrum screen trigger for additional FCC review. Such additional review could extend the duration of the regulatory review process and there can be no assurance that such transactions will ultimately be completed in whole or in part.
The FCC and other federal agencies have recently engaged in increased regulatory and enforcement activity as well as investigations of the industry generally. Depending upon their interpretation, newly adopted net neutrality regulations may have unforeseen consequences for our business. Such regulations, enforcement activities, or investigations could make it more difficult and expensive to operate our business, and could increase the costs of our wireless operations. In addition, we may offer products that include highly regulated financial services, which subject us to additional state and federal regulations. The costs to comply with such regulations and failure to remain compliant with such regulations could adversely affect our results of operations.
Degradation in network performance caused by compliance with government regulation, loss of spectrum, or additional rules associated with the use of spectrum in any market could result in an inability to attract new subscribers or higher subscriber churn in that market, which could adversely affect our revenues and results of operations. Furthermore, additional costs or fees imposed by governmental regulation could adversely affect our revenues, future growth, and results of operations.
Competition, industry consolidation, and technological changes in the market for wireless services could negatively affect our operations, resulting in adverse effects on our revenues, cash flows, growth, and profitability.
We compete with a number of other wireless service providers in each of the markets in which we provide wireless services. Competition is expected to continue to increase as additional spectrum is made available for commercial wireless services, and we expect an increased customer demand for data usage on our network. Competition in pricing, service, and product offerings may adversely impact subscriber retention and our ability to attract new subscribers. A decline in the average revenue per subscriber coupled with a decline in the number of subscribers would negatively impact our revenues, cash flows, and profitability. In addition, consolidation by our competitors and roaming partners could lead to fewer companies controlling access to network infrastructure, enabling our competitors to control usage and rates, which could negatively affect our revenues and profitability.
The wireless communications industry continues to experience significant technological change, including improvements in the capacity, quality, and types of technology. These developments cause uncertainty about future subscriber demand for our wireless services and the prices that we will be able to charge for these services. As services, technology, and devices evolve, we also expect continued pressure on voice, text, and other service revenues. Rapid changes in technology may lead to the development of wireless communications technologies, products, or alternative services that are superior to our technologies, products, or services, or that consumers prefer over ours. In addition, technological advances have caused long distance, local, wireless, video, and Internet services to become more integrated, which has contributed to increased competition, new competitors, new products, and the expansion of services offered by our competitors in each of these markets. If we are unable to meet future advances in competing technologies on a timely basis, or at an acceptable cost, we may not be able to compete effectively and could lose subscribers to our competitors.
The trading price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be, volatile and may not reflect our actual operations and performance.
Market and industry factors may adversely impact the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operations and performance. Stock price volatility and sustained decreases in our share price could subject our stockholders to losses and may adversely impact our ability to issue equity. The trading price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be, subject to fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control, including, but not limited to:
quarterly earnings announcements and variations in our results of operations or those of our competitors;
market and pricing risks due to concentrated ownership of our stock;
the issuance of additional debt or equity, the cost and availability or perceived availability of additional capital;

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announcements by us or our competitors, or market speculation, of acquisitions, spectrum acquisitions, new products, technologies, significant contracts, commercial relationships, or capital commitments;
the performance of SoftBank and SoftBank’s ordinary shares or speculation about the possibility of future actions SoftBank may take in connection with us;
disruption to our operations or those of other companies critical to our network operations;
our ability to develop and market new and enhanced technologies, products and services on a timely and cost-effective basis, including implementation of our network modernization;
recommendations by securities analysts or changes in their estimates concerning us;
litigation;
changes in governmental actions, regulations, or approvals; and
perceptions of general market conditions in the technology and communications industries, the U.S. economy, and global market conditions.
We have entered into, or may enter into, agreements with various parties for certain business operations. Any difficulties experienced by us in these arrangements could result in additional expense, loss of subscribers and revenue, interruption of our services, or a delay in the roll-out of new technology.
We have entered into, and may in the future enter into, agreements with various third parties for the day-to-day execution of services, provisioning, maintenance, and modernization of our wireless and wireline networks, including leases and subleases for space on communications towers; the development and maintenance of certain systems necessary for the operation of our business; customer service, related support to our wireless subscribers, outsourcing aspects of our wireline network and back office functions; and to provide network equipment, handsets, devices, and other equipment. For example, we depend heavily on local access facilities obtained from incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to serve our data and voice subscribers, and payments to ILECs for these facilities are a significant cost of service for our Wireline segment. We also expect our dependence on key suppliers to continue as more advanced technologies are developed, which may lead to additional significant costs. If our key vendors fail to meet their contractual obligations or experience financial difficulty, we may experience disruptions to our business operations or incur significant costs implementing alternative arrangements.
The products and services utilized by us and our suppliers and service providers may infringe on intellectual property rights owned by others.
Some of our products and services use intellectual property that we own. We also purchase products from suppliers, including device suppliers, and outsource services to service providers, including billing and customer care functions, that incorporate or utilize intellectual property. We and some of our suppliers and service providers have received, and may receive in the future, assertions and claims from third parties that the products or software utilized by us or our suppliers and service providers infringe on the patents or other intellectual property rights of these third parties. These claims could require us or an infringing supplier or service provider to cease certain activities or to cease selling the relevant products and services. These claims can be time-consuming and costly to defend and divert management resources. If these claims are successful, we could be forced to pay significant damages or stop selling certain products or services or stop using certain trademarks, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Negative outcomes of legal proceedings may adversely affect our business and financial condition.
We are regularly involved in a number of legal proceedings before various state and federal courts, the FCC, the FTC, the CFPB, and state and local regulatory agencies. These proceedings may be complicated, costly, and disruptive to our business operations. We may incur significant expenses in defending these matters and may be required to pay significant fines, awards, or settlements. In addition, litigation or other proceedings could result in restrictions on our current or future manner of doing business. Any of these potential outcomes, such as judgments, awards, settlements, or orders could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, or ability to do business.
Our reputation and business may be harmed and we may be subject to legal claims if there is a loss, disclosure, misappropriation of, unauthorized access to, or other security breach of our proprietary or sensitive information.
Our information technology and other systems-including those of our third-party service providers-that maintain and transmit our proprietary information and our subscribers’ information, including credit card information, location data, or other personal information may be compromised by a malicious third-party penetration of our network security or impacted by advertent or inadvertent actions or inactions by our employees and agents. As a result, our subscribers’ information may be

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lost, disclosed, accessed, used, corrupted, destroyed, or taken without the subscribers’ consent. Cyber attacks, such as the use of malware, computer viruses, denial of service attacks, or other means for disruption or unauthorized access, have increased in frequency, scope, and potential harm in recent years. We also purchase equipment and software from third parties that could contain software defects, Trojan horses, malware, or other means by which third parties could access our network or the information stored or transmitted on such network or equipment.
While to date, we have not been subject to cyber attacks or other cyber incidents which, individually or in the aggregate, have been material to our operations or financial condition, the preventive actions we take to reduce the risk of cyber incidents and protect our information technology and networks may be insufficient to repel a cyber attack in the future. In addition, the costs of such preventative actions may be significant, which may adversely affect our results of operations. Any major compromise of our data or network security, failure to prevent or mitigate a loss of our services or network, our proprietary information, or our subscribers’ information, and delays in detecting any such compromise or loss, could disrupt our operations, impact our reputation and subscribers' willingness to purchase our service, and subject us to significant additional expenses. Such expenses could include incentives offered to existing subscribers and other business relationships in order to retain their business, increased expenditures on cyber security measures and the use of alternate resources, lost revenues from business interruption, and litigation, which could be material. Furthermore, the potential costs associated with any such cyber attacks could be greater than the insurance coverage we maintain.
In addition to cyber attacks, major equipment failures, natural disasters, including severe weather, terrorist acts or other disruptions that affect our wireline and wireless networks, including transport facilities, communications switches, routers, microwave links, cell sites, or other equipment or third-party owned local and long-distance networks on which we rely, could disrupt our operations, require significant resources to remedy, result in a loss of subscribers or impair our ability to attract new subscribers, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to improve our results of operations and as we continue to modernize our networks, we may be required to recognize an impairment of our long-lived assets, goodwill, or other indefinite-lived intangible assets, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.
As a result of the SoftBank Merger and the remeasurement of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in connection with the transaction, Sprint recognized goodwill at its estimate of fair value of approximately $6.6 billion, which has been entirely allocated to the wireless segment. Since goodwill is reflected at its estimate of fair value, there is no excess fair value over book value as of the date of the close of the SoftBank Merger. Additionally, we recorded $14.6 billion and $41.7 billion of long-lived assets and indefinite-lived intangible assets, respectively, as of the close of the SoftBank Merger. We are required to perform impairment tests for goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets at least annually and whenever events or circumstances indicate that it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired or that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable. During the quarter ended December 31, 2014, we recorded an impairment loss of $1.9 billion and $233 million for the Sprint trade name and Wireline long-lived assets, respectively. Continued, sustained declines in the Company’s operating results, future forecasted cash flows, growth rates and other assumptions, as well as significant, sustained declines in the Company’s stock price and related market capitalization could impact the underlying key assumptions and our estimated fair values, potentially leading to a future material impairment of long-lived assets, goodwill, or other indefinite-lived assets, which could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations. In addition, as we continue to modernize our network, management may conclude, in future periods, that certain equipment assets in use will not be utilized as long as originally intended, which could result in an acceleration of depreciation expense. Moreover, certain equipment assets may never be deployed or redeployed, in which case cash and/or non-cash charges that could be material to our consolidated financial statements would be recognized.
Any acquisitions, strategic investments, or mergers may subject us to significant risks, any of which may harm our business.
As part of our long term strategy, we regularly evaluate potential acquisitions, strategic investments, and mergers, and we actively engage in discussions with potential counterparties. Over time, we may acquire, make investments in, or merge with companies that complement or expand our business. Some of these potential transactions could be significant relative to the size of our business and operations. Any such acquisitions would involve a number of risks and present financial, managerial and operational challenges, including:
diversion of management attention from running our existing business;
possible material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting;

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increased costs to integrate the networks, spectrum, technology, personnel, subscriber base, and business practices of the company involved in the acquisition, strategic investment, or merger with our business;
potential exposure to material liabilities not discovered in the due diligence process or as a result of any litigation arising in connection with such transactions;
significant transaction expenses in connection with any such transaction, whether consummated or not;
risks related to our ability to obtain any required regulatory approvals necessary to consummate any such transaction;
acquisition financing may not be available on reasonable terms or at all and any such financing could significantly increase our outstanding indebtedness or otherwise affect our capital structure or credit ratings; and
any acquired or merged business, technology, service, or product may significantly under-perform relative to our expectations, and we may not achieve the benefits we expect from our transaction, which could, among other things, also result in a write-down of goodwill and other intangible assets associated with such transaction.
Certain of these risks may also apply to the RadioShack transaction. For any or all of these reasons, our pursuit of an acquisition, investment, or merger may cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.
Controlled Company Risks
As long as SoftBank controls us, other holders of our common stock will have limited ability to influence matters requiring stockholder approval and SoftBank’s interest may conflict with ours and other stockholders.
SoftBank beneficially owns approximately 80% of the outstanding common stock of Sprint. As a result, until such time as SoftBank and its controlled affiliates hold shares representing less than a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the holders of our outstanding common stock at a stockholder meeting, SoftBank generally will have the ability to control the outcome of any matter submitted for the vote of our stockholders, except in certain circumstances set forth in our certificate of incorporation or bylaws.
In addition, pursuant to our bylaws, we are subject to certain requirements and limitations regarding the composition of our board of directors. Many of those requirements and limitations expire on or prior to July 10, 2016. Thereafter, for so long as SoftBank and its controlled affiliates hold shares of our common stock representing at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the holders of our common stock at a stockholder meeting, SoftBank will be able to freely nominate and elect all the members of our board of directors, subject only to a requirement that a certain number of directors qualify as "Independent Directors," as such term is defined in the NYSE listing rules and applicable laws. The directors elected by SoftBank will have the authority to make decisions affecting the capital structure of the Company, including the issuance of additional capital stock or options, the incurrence of additional indebtedness, the implementation of stock repurchase programs, and the declaration of dividends.
The interests of SoftBank may not coincide with the interests of our other stockholders or with holders of our indebtedness. SoftBank’s ability, subject to the limitations in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval limits the ability of other stockholders to influence corporate matters and, as a result, we may take actions that our stockholders or holders of our indebtedness do not view as beneficial. As a result, the market price of our common stock or terms upon which we issue indebtedness could be adversely affected. In addition, the existence of a controlling stockholder may have the effect of making it more difficult for a third-party to acquire, or discouraging a third-party from seeking to acquire, the Company. A third-party would be required to negotiate any such transaction with SoftBank, and the interests of SoftBank with respect to such transaction may be different from the interests of our other stockholders or with holders of our indebtedness. In addition, the performance of SoftBank and SoftBank’s ordinary shares or speculation about the possibility of future actions SoftBank may take in connection with us may adversely affect our share price or the trading price of our debt securities.
Subject to limitations in our certificate of incorporation that limit SoftBank’s ability to engage in certain competing businesses in the U.S. or take advantage of certain corporate opportunities, SoftBank is not restricted from competing with us or otherwise taking for itself or its other affiliates certain corporate opportunities that may be attractive to the Company.

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SoftBank’s ability to eventually control our board of directors may make it difficult for us to recruit independent directors.
For so long as SoftBank and its controlled affiliates hold shares of our common stock representing at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the holders of our common stock at a stockholders’ meeting, SoftBank will be able to elect all of the members of our board of directors commencing in July 2016, which is three years following the effective time of the SoftBank Merger. Further, the interests of SoftBank and our other stockholders may diverge. Under these circumstances, persons who might otherwise accept an invitation to join our board of directors may decline.
Any inability to resolve favorably any disputes that may arise between the Company and SoftBank or its affiliates may adversely affect our business.
Disputes may arise between SoftBank or its affiliates and the Company in a number of areas, including:
business combinations involving the Company;
sales or dispositions by SoftBank of all or any portion of its ownership interest in us;
the nature, quality and pricing of services SoftBank or its affiliates may agree to provide to the Company;
arrangements with third parties that are exclusionary to SoftBank or its affiliates or the Company; and
business opportunities that may be attractive to both SoftBank or its affiliates and the Company.
We may not be able to resolve any potential conflicts, and even if we do, the resolution may be less favorable than if we were dealing with an unaffiliated party.
We are a "controlled company" within the meaning of the NYSE rules and, as a result, rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that provide protection to stockholders of companies that are not "controlled companies."
SoftBank owns more than 50% of the total voting power of our common shares and, accordingly, we have elected to be treated as a controlled company under the NYSE corporate governance standards. As a controlled company, we are exempt under the NYSE standards from the obligation to comply with certain NYSE corporate governance requirements, including the requirements:
that a majority of our board of directors consists of independent directors;
that we have a corporate governance and nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities;
that we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and
that an annual performance evaluation of the nominating and governance committee and compensation committee be performed.
As a result of our use of the controlled company exemptions, holders of our common stock and debt securities may not have the same protection afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements.
Regulatory authorities have imposed measures to protect national security and classified projects as well as other conditions that could have an adverse effect on Sprint.
As a precondition to approval of the SoftBank Merger, certain U.S. government agencies required that SoftBank and Sprint enter into certain agreements, including a National Security Agreement (NSA) under which SoftBank and Sprint have agreed to implement certain measures to protect national security, certain of which may materially and adversely affect our operating results due to increasing the cost of compliance with security measures, and limiting our control over certain U.S. facilities, contracts, personnel, vendor selection, and operations. If we fail to comply with our obligations under the NSA or other agreements, our ability to operate our business may be adversely effected.

Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
None.


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Item 2.
Properties
Our corporate headquarters are located in Overland Park, Kansas and consist of about 3,853,000 square feet. Our gross property, plant and equipment at March 31, 2015 totaled $25.1 billion, as follows:
 
March 31,
2015
 
(in  billions)
Wireless
$
22.5

Wireline
1.0

Corporate and other
1.6

Total
$
25.1

Properties utilized by our Wireless segment generally consist of either leased or owned assets in the following categories: switching equipment, radio frequency equipment, cell site towers and related leasehold improvements, site development costs, network software, leased devices, internal-use software, retail fixtures and retail leasehold improvements.
Properties utilized by our Wireline segment generally consist of either leased or owned assets in the following categories: digital fiber optic cable, transport facilities, transmission-related equipment and network buildings.

Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
In March 2009, a stockholder brought suit, Bennett v. Sprint Nextel Corp., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, alleging that Sprint Communications and three of its former officers violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 by failing adequately to disclose certain alleged operational difficulties subsequent to the Sprint-Nextel merger, and by purportedly issuing false and misleading statements regarding the write-down of goodwill. The plaintiff sought class action status for purchasers of Sprint Communications common stock from October 26, 2006 to February 27, 2008. On January 6, 2011, the Court denied the motion to dismiss. Subsequently, our motion to certify the January 6, 2011 order for an interlocutory appeal was denied. On March 27, 2014, the court certified a class including bondholders as well as stockholders. On April 11, 2014 we filed a petition to appeal that certification order to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals but that petition was denied. After mediation, the parties have reached an agreement in principle to settle the matter, and the settlement amount is expected to be substantially paid by the Company's insurers. The district court granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement on April 10, 2015 and a final approval hearing has been scheduled for August 5, 2015. We do not expect the resolution of this matter to have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.
In addition, five related stockholder derivative suits were filed against Sprint Communications and certain of its present and/or former officers and directors. The first, Murphy v. Forsee, was filed in state court in Kansas on April 8, 2009, was removed to federal court, and was stayed by the court pending resolution of the motion to dismiss the Bennett case; the second, Randolph v. Forsee, was filed on July 15, 2010 in state court in Kansas, was removed to federal court, and was remanded back to state court; the third, Ross-Williams v. Bennett, et al., was filed in state court in Kansas on February 1, 2011; the fourth, Price v. Forsee, et al., was filed in state court in Kansas on April 15, 2011; and the fifth, Hartleib v. Forsee, et. al., was filed in federal court in Kansas on July 14, 2011. These cases are essentially stayed while the Bennett case is being resolved. We do not expect the resolution of these matters to have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.
Sprint Communications, Inc. is also a defendant in a complaint filed by stockholders of Clearwire Corporation, asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty by Sprint Communications, and related claims and otherwise challenging the Clearwire Acquisition. ACP Master, LTD, et al. v. Sprint Nextel Corp., et al., was filed April 26, 2013 in Chancery Court in Delaware. Our motion to dismiss the suit was denied and discovery has begun. The plaintiffs in the ACP Master, LTD suit have also filed suit requesting an appraisal of the fair value of their Clearwire stock, and discovery is proceeding in that case. Sprint Communications, Inc. intends to defend the ACP Master, LTD cases vigorously. We do not expect the resolution of these matters to have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

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Various other suits, inquiries, proceedings, and claims, either asserted or unasserted, including purported class actions typical for a large business enterprise and intellectual property matters, are possible or pending against us. If our interpretation of certain laws or regulations, including those related to various federal or state matters such as sales, use or property taxes, or other charges were found to be mistaken, it could result in payments by us. While it is not possible to determine the ultimate disposition of each of these proceedings and whether they will be resolved consistent with our beliefs, we expect that the outcome of such proceedings, individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
None.

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PART II


Item 5.
Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Common Share Data
Our common stock is traded under the stock symbol "S" on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). From January 1, 2012 through July 10, 2013, the stock that traded was the Series 1 common stock of Sprint Communications, Inc., which was formerly known as Sprint Nextel Corporation. On July 10, 2013, the SoftBank Merger closed, and after that date, the stock that trades on the NYSE is the common stock of Sprint Corporation. We currently have no non-voting common stock outstanding. The high and low common stock prices, as reported on the NYSE composite, were as follows:
 
Year Ended
March 31, 2015
 
Three-month Transition Period Ended March 31, 2014
 
Year Ended
December 31, 2013
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
Common stock market price
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First quarter
$
9.76

 
$
7.38

 
N/A

 
N/A

 
$
6.22

 
$
5.52

Second quarter
8.68

 
5.36

 
N/A

 
N/A

 
7.50

 
6.12

Third quarter
6.45

 
3.79

 
N/A

 
N/A

 
7.26

 
5.61

Fourth quarter
5.45

 
4.01

 
N/A

 
N/A

 
11.47

 
5.92

Transition period
N/A

 
N/A

 
$
10.69

 
$
7.42

 
N/A

 
N/A

Number of Stockholders of Record
As of May 18, 2015, we had approximately 30,000 common stock record holders.
Dividends
We did not declare any dividends on our common stock for all periods presented in the consolidated financial statements. We are currently restricted from paying cash dividends by the terms of our revolving bank credit facility as described under "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources."
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
None.

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Performance Graph
The graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return for the Company's common stock with the S&P® 500 Stock Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Index for the four fiscal years ended December 31, 2013, the three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Because Sprint Corporation common stock did not commence trading until after the SoftBank Merger, the graph below reflects the cumulative total shareholder return on the Series 1 common stock of Sprint Communications, Inc., our predecessor, through July 10, 2013 and, thereafter, reflects the total shareholder return on the common stock of Sprint Corporation. The graph assumes an initial investment of $100 on December 31, 2009 and, if any, the reinvestment of all dividends.

Value of $100 Invested on December 31, 2009
 
12/31/2009
 
12/31/2010
 
12/31/2011
 
12/31/2012
 
12/31/2013
 
3/31/2014
 
3/31/2015
Sprint Corporation
$
100.00

 
$
115.57

 
$
63.93

 
$
154.92

 
$
293.72

 
$
251.09

 
$
129.51

S&P 500 Index
$
100.00

 
$
115.06

 
$
117.49

 
$
136.30

 
$
180.44

 
$
183.70

 
$
207.09

Dow Jones U.S. Telecom Index
$
100.00

 
$
117.61

 
$
122.59

 
$
145.26

 
$
165.78

 
$
166.37

 
$
173.17



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Table of Contents

Item 6.
Selected Financial Data
The Company's financial statement presentations distinguish between the predecessor period (Predecessor) relating to Sprint Communications (formerly known as Sprint Nextel Corporation) for periods prior to the SoftBank Merger and the successor period (Successor) relating to Sprint Corporation, formerly known as Starburst II, for periods subsequent to the incorporation of Starburst II on October 5, 2012. The Successor financial information represents the activity and accounts of Sprint Corporation, which includes the activity and accounts of Starburst II prior to the close of the SoftBank Merger on July 10, 2013 and Sprint Communications, inclusive of the consolidation of Clearwire Corporation, prospectively following completion of the SoftBank Merger, beginning on July 11, 2013 (Post-merger period). The accounts and operating activity of Starburst II prior to the close of the SoftBank Merger primarily related to merger expenses that were incurred in connection with the SoftBank Merger (recognized in selling, general and administrative expense) and interest related to the $3.1 billion convertible bond (Bond) Sprint Communications, Inc. issued to Starburst II. The Predecessor financial information represents the historical basis of presentation for Sprint Communications for all periods prior to the SoftBank Merger. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional discussions on our trends and combined information.
The selected financial data presented below is not comparable for all periods presented primarily as a result of transactions such as the SoftBank Merger and acquisitions of Clearwire and certain assets of U.S. Cellular in 2013. All acquired companies' results of operations subsequent to their acquisition dates are included in our consolidated financial statements. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional discussions on our trends and combined information.
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Years Ended
 December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
(in millions, except per share amounts)
Results of Operations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Service revenue
$
29,542

 
$
7,876

 
$

 
$
15,094

 
$

 
 
$
16,895

 
$
7,980

 
$
32,097

 
$
30,768

 
$
29,860

Equipment revenue
4,990

 
999

 

 
1,797

 

 
 
1,707

 
813

 
3,248

 
2,911

 
2,703

Net operating revenues
34,532

 
8,875

 

 
16,891

 

 
 
18,602

 
8,793

 
35,345

 
33,679

 
32,563

Depreciation
3,797

 
868

 

 
2,026

 

 
 
3,098

 
1,422

 
6,240

 
4,455

 
5,074

Amortization
1,552

 
429

 

 
908

 

 
 
147

 
70

 
303

 
403

 
1,174

Operating (loss) income
(1,895
)
 
420

 
(14
)
 
(970
)
 
(33
)
 
 
(885
)
 
29

 
(1,820
)
 
108

 
(595
)
Net loss 
(3,345
)
 
(151
)
 
(9
)
 
(1,860
)
 
(27
)
 
 
(1,158
)
 
(643
)
 
(4,326
)
 
(2,890
)
 
(3,465
)
Loss per Share and Dividends(1)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic and diluted loss per common
share 
$
(0.85
)
 
$
(0.04
)
 
 
 
$
(0.54
)
 
 
 
 
$
(0.38
)
 
$
(0.21
)
 
$
(1.44
)
 
$
(0.96
)
 
$
(1.16
)
Financial Position
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
$
83,030

 
$
84,689

 
$
3,122

 
$
86,095

 
$
3,115

 
 
N/A
 
$
50,757

 
$
51,570

 
$
49,383

 
$
51,654

Property, plant and equipment, net
19,721

 
16,299

 

 
16,164

 

 
 
N/A
 
14,025

 
13,607

 
14,009

 
15,214

Intangible assets, net
52,455

 
55,919

 

 
56,272

 

 
 
N/A
 
22,352

 
22,371

 
22,428

 
22,704

Total debt, capital lease and financing obligations (including equity unit notes)
33,831

 
32,778

 

 
33,011

 

 
 
N/A
 
24,500

 
24,341

 
20,274

 
20,191

Stockholders' equity
21,710

 
25,312

 
3,122

 
25,584

 
3,110

 
 
N/A
 
6,474

 
7,087

 
11,427

 
14,546

Cash Flow Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
$
2,450

 
$
522

 
$
(2
)
 
$
(61
)
 
$

 
 
$
2,671

 
$
940

 
$
2,999

 
$
3,691

 
$
4,815

Capital expenditures - network and other
5,422

 
1,488

 

 
3,847

 

 
 
3,140

 
1,381

 
4,261

 
3,130

 
1,935

Capital expenditures - leased devices
582

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

_______________
(1)
We did not declare any dividends on our common shares in any of the periods reported.

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Item 7.
Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

OVERVIEW
Business Overview
Sprint is a communications company offering a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications products and services that are designed to meet the needs of individual consumers, businesses, government subscribers, and resellers. Unless the context otherwise requires, references to "Sprint," "we," "us," "our" and the "Company" mean Sprint Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries for all periods presented, inclusive of Successor and Predecessor periods, and references to "Sprint Communications" are to Sprint Communications, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
Wireless segment earnings represented almost all of our total consolidated segment earnings for the year ended March 31, 2015. Within the Wireless segment, postpaid wireless service revenue represents the most significant contributors to earnings and are driven not only by the number of postpaid subscribers to our services, but also the average revenue per user (ARPU).
Strategies and Key Priorities
Our business strategy is to be responsive to changing consumer mobility demands of existing and potential customers, and to expand our business into new areas of customer value and economic opportunity through innovation and differentiation. To help lay the foundation for these future growth opportunities, our strategy revolves around targeted investment, both today and for the future, in the following key priority areas:
Provide a network that delivers the consistent reliability, capacity and speed that customers demand;
Achieve a more competitive cost position in the industry through simplification;
Increase subscriber acquisition;
Reduce churn and increase subscriber retention;
Attract and retain the best talent in the industry; and
Deliver a simplified and improved customer experience.    
To achieve these key priorities we are focusing on the following initiatives. To provide a network that delivers the consistent reliability, capacity and speed that customers demand, we expect to continue to optimize our 3G data network and invest in LTE deployment across all spectrum bands. We also expect to define and deploy new technologies that will help strengthen our competitive position, including the expected use of Voice over LTE and more extensive use of Wi-Fi. To achieve a more competitive cost position, we have established an Office of Cost Management with responsibility for identifying, operationalizing, and monitoring sustained improvements in operating costs and efficiencies. Also, we have deployed new cost management and planning tools across the entire organization to more effectively monitor expenditures. We are focused on attracting and retaining subscribers by improving our sales and marketing initiatives. We have expanded our direct retail store presence through our relationship with RadioShack, as well as our new Direct to You service that brings the Sprint store experience to our customers. We have demonstrated our value proposition through our new price plans, promotions, and payment programs and have deployed new local marketing and civic engagement initiatives in key markets. We seek to build a stronger management team through striking a balance of bringing in new outside talent with world class experience and credentials and more fully leveraging the experience within our existing leadership team. To deliver a simplified and improved customer experience, we are focusing on key subscriber touch points, pursuing process improvements and deploying platforms to simplify and enhance the interactions between us and our customers. In addition, we have established a Customer Experience Office to support our focus on Net Promoter Score as our key measure in customer satisfaction.
Significant Transactions
On July 9, 2013, Sprint Nextel Corporation (Sprint Nextel) completed the acquisition of the remaining equity interests in Clearwire Corporation and its consolidated subsidiary Clearwire Communications LLC (together "Clearwire") that it did not previously own (Clearwire Acquisition) in an all cash transaction for approximately $3.5 billion, net of cash acquired of $198 million, which provides us with control of 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum and tower resources for use in improving the quality of our network. The allocation of consideration paid to assets acquired and liabilities assumed was based on management's judgment of estimated fair values after evaluating several factors, including a valuation assessment.
On July 10, 2013, SoftBank Corp. and certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries (together, "SoftBank") completed the merger (SoftBank Merger) with Sprint Nextel contemplated by the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of October 15, 2012 (as amended, the Merger Agreement), and the Bond Purchase Agreement, dated as of October 15, 2012 (as

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amended, the Bond Agreement). As a result of the SoftBank Merger, Starburst II became the parent company of Sprint Nextel. Immediately thereafter, Starburst II changed its name to Sprint Corporation and Sprint Nextel changed its name to Sprint Communications, Inc. Pursuant to the Bond Agreement, Sprint Communications, Inc. issued a Bond to Starburst II with a principal amount of $3.1 billion, which was converted into 590,476,190 shares of Sprint Communications, Inc. common stock at $5.25 per share immediately prior to the close of the SoftBank Merger.
As a result of the completion of the SoftBank Merger in which SoftBank acquired an approximate 78% interest in Sprint Corporation, and subsequent open market stock purchases, SoftBank owned approximately 79% of the outstanding voting common stock of Sprint Corporation as of March 31, 2015. The SoftBank Merger consideration totaled approximately $22.2 billion, consisting primarily of cash consideration of $14.1 billion, net of cash acquired of $2.5 billion, and the estimated fair value of the 22% interest in Sprint Corporation issued to the then existing stockholders of Sprint Communications, Inc. The allocation of consideration paid to assets acquired and liabilities assumed was based on management's judgment of estimated fair values after evaluating several factors, including a valuation assessment. The close of the transaction provided additional equity funding of $5.0 billion, consisting of $3.1 billion received by Sprint Communications, Inc. in October 2012 related to the Bond, which automatically converted to equity immediately prior to the closing of the SoftBank Merger, and $1.9 billion cash consideration at closing of the SoftBank Merger.
In connection with the close of the SoftBank Merger, Sprint Corporation became the successor registrant to Sprint Nextel under Rule 12g-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and is the entity subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act for filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subsequent to the close of the SoftBank Merger. In addition, in order to align with SoftBank’s reporting schedule, we changed our fiscal year end from December 31 to March 31, effective March 31, 2014. References herein to fiscal year refer to the twelve-month periods ending March 31 unless otherwise specifically noted.
Network
We are continuously improving our network, including optimizing the use of our 1.9 GHz, 800 megahertz (MHz) and 2.5 GHz spectrum. Our current improvement efforts include the deployment and optimization of 4G LTE on our 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum. We expect these efforts to further enhance the quality of our network.
Some of our subscribers experienced network service disruptions, particularly voice service, during our recent network modernization program, which was substantially complete in calendar year 2014. We believe this program, among other factors, contributed to the elevated postpaid churn rates we experienced in recent quarters (see the churn results table within "Results of Operations"). We are now seeing improvements in voluntary churn as the network modernization program benefits have been realized through improved network quality and the service disruptions associated with this program have decreased significantly.
As part of our recently completed modernization program, we modified our existing backhaul architecture to enable increased capacity to our network at a lower cost by utilizing Ethernet as opposed to time division multiplexing (TDM) technology. Termination costs associated with our TDM contractual commitments with third-party vendors, ranging between approximately $25 million to $50 million, are expected to be incurred by September 30, 2016.
As expected, our network modernization program has allowed us to realize financial benefit to the Company through reduced network maintenance and operating costs, capital efficiencies, reduced energy costs, lower roaming expenses and backhaul savings. Most importantly, our customers are benefiting from significant improvements to the quality of service they receive. Along with our recently completed network modernization plan, our ongoing network improvement efforts are expected to provide consistent reliability, capacity and speed that customers demand. Over the longer-term, we expect to densify our network and move to an all-LTE platform.
WiMAX technology was deployed by Clearwire at the time of the Clearwire Acquisition. We plan to cease using WiMAX technology by the end of calendar year 2015.
Device Financing Programs
During 2013, wireless carriers introduced new plans that allow subscribers to forgo traditional service contracts and handset subsidies in exchange for lower monthly service fees, early upgrade options, or both. In 2013, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile each launched programs that included an option to purchase a handset using an installment billing program. Sprint offers its own device (handset and tablet) installment billing program called Sprint Easy Pay.
Under the Sprint Easy Pay installment billing program, we recognize a majority of the revenue associated with future expected installment payments at the time of sale of the device. As compared to our traditional subsidized program,

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this results in better alignment of the equipment revenue with the cost of the device, which reduces the amount of equipment net subsidy recognized in our operating results.
In September 2014, Sprint introduced a leasing program, whereby qualified subscribers can lease a device for a contractual period of time. At the end of the lease term, the subscriber has the option to turn in their device, continue leasing their device, or purchase the device. As of March 31, 2015, our device leases were all classified as operating leases. As a result, at lease inception, the devices are reclassified from inventory to property, plant and equipment when leased through Sprint's direct channels. For leases in the indirect channel, Sprint purchases the device at lease inception from the dealer, which is then capitalized to property, plant and equipment. The devices are then depreciated to their estimated residual value over the term of the lease. While a majority of the revenue associated with installment sales is recognized at the time of sale along with the related cost of products, lease revenue and depreciation for leased devices are recorded over the term of the lease. Because a substantial portion of the cost of a device leased through our direct channel is not recorded as cost of products but rather as depreciation expense, there is a positive impact to wireless segment earnings. If the mix of leased devices continues to increase, we expect this positive impact on the financial results of wireless segment earnings to continue and depreciation expense to increase.
Additionally, Sprint is offering lower monthly service fees without a traditional service contract as an incentive to attract subscribers to certain of our service plans. These lower rates for service are available whether the subscriber brings their own handset, pays the full or near full retail price of the handset, purchases the handset under our installment billing program, or leases their handset through our leasing program. As the adoption rates of these plans increase throughout our base of subscribers, we expect Sprint platform postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) to continue to decline as a result of lower pricing associated with our new service plans as compared to our traditional plans, which reflect higher service revenue and lower equipment revenue; however, we also expect reduced equipment net subsidy expense due to our installment billing and leasing programs to partially offset these declines. Since inception, the combination of lower priced plans, and our installment billing and leasing programs have been accretive to wireless segment earnings. We expect that trend to continue with the magnitude of the impact being dependent upon the rate of subscriber adoption. We also expect that installment billing and leasing will require a greater use of operating cash flows in the earlier part of the contracts as the subscriber will generally pay less upfront than traditional plans because they are financing or leasing the device.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
As discussed above, both the Clearwire Acquisition and the SoftBank Merger were completed in July 2013. As a result of these transactions, the assets and liabilities of Sprint Communications and Clearwire were adjusted to estimated fair value on the respective closing dates. The Company's financial statement presentations distinguish between the predecessor period (Predecessor) relating to Sprint Communications for periods prior to the SoftBank Merger and the successor period (Successor) relating to Sprint Corporation, formerly known as Starburst II, for periods subsequent to the incorporation of Starburst II on October 5, 2012. The Successor financial information includes the activity and accounts of Sprint Corporation, which includes the activity and accounts of Starburst II prior to the close of the SoftBank Merger on July 10, 2013 and Sprint Communications, inclusive of the consolidation of Clearwire Corporation, prospectively following completion of the SoftBank Merger, beginning on July 11, 2013 (Post-merger period). The accounts and operating activity of Starburst II prior to the close of the SoftBank Merger primarily related to merger expenses that were incurred in connection with the SoftBank Merger (recognized in selling, general and administrative expense) and interest related to the $3.1 billion Bond Sprint Communications, Inc. issued to Starburst II. The Predecessor financial information represents the historical basis of presentation for Sprint Communications for all periods prior to the SoftBank Merger.
As a result of the SoftBank Merger, and in order to present Management's Discussion and Analysis in a way that offers investors a more meaningful period to period comparison, in addition to presenting and discussing our historical results of operations as reported in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (U.S. GAAP), we have combined the 2013 Predecessor financial information with the 2013 Successor financial information, on an unaudited combined basis (Combined). The unaudited Combined data consists of Predecessor information for the 191-day period ended July 10, 2013 and Successor information for the year ended December 31, 2013. The Combined information for the year ended December 31, 2013 does not comply with U.S. GAAP and is not intended to represent what our consolidated results of operations would have been if the Successor had actually been formed on January 1, 2013 and acquired the Predecessor as of such date, nor have we made any attempt to either include or exclude expenses or income that would have resulted had the SoftBank Merger actually occurred on January 1, 2013.

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U.S. GAAP Discussion and Analysis
The following discussion covers results for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 as compared to the Successor year ended December 31, 2013, the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 as compared to the unaudited three-month Predecessor period ended March 31, 2013 and the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 as compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012.
The results for the Successor 87-day period ended December 31, 2012 and three-month period ended March 31, 2013 were considered insignificant and are not comparable to the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 or three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 as the Successor entity was established on October 5, 2012 for the sole purpose of completing the SoftBank Merger. Results for the Successor 87-day period ended December 31, 2012 and three-month period ended March 31, 2013 primarily reflected merger expenses that were incurred (recognized in selling, general and administrative expense) and interest income related to the $3.1 billion Bond issued in connection with the SoftBank Merger. We have provided information regarding certain of the elements of the acquisition method of accounting affecting the Successor period ended December 31, 2013 and transition period ended March 31, 2014 results to enable further comparability.
Supplemental Discussion and Analysis
Results for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 as compared to the unaudited Combined year ended December 31, 2013 in addition to the unaudited Combined year ended December 31, 2013 as compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 are also discussed, to the extent necessary, to provide an analysis of results on comparable periods although the basis of presentation may not be comparable due to the application of the acquisition method of accounting. Additionally, in certain sections we discuss the activity of the Predecessor 191-day period ended July 10, 2013 to the extent it provides useful information for the activity during that period.
Acquisition Method of Accounting Effects to the Successor Periods Ending March 31, 2014 (Transition Period) and December 31, 2013
The allocation of the consideration transferred to assets acquired and liabilities assumed were based on estimated fair values as of the date of the SoftBank Merger, as described further in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. As a result, the following estimated impacts of purchase price accounting are included in our results of operations for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and year ended December 31, 2013:
Reduced postpaid wireless revenue and wireless cost of service of approximately $29 million and $59 million each for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and for the year ended December 31, 2013, respectively, as a result of purchase accounting adjustments to deferred revenue and deferred costs;
Reduced prepaid wireless revenue of approximately $96 million for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 as a result of purchase accounting adjustments to eliminate deferred revenue;
Increased rent expense of $29 million and $55 million for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and year ended December 31, 2013, respectively, which was included in cost of service, primarily attributable to the write-off of deferred rents associated with our operating leases, offset by the amortization of our net unfavorable leases recorded in purchase accounting;
Increased cost of products sold of approximately $31 million for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 as a result of purchase accounting adjustments to accessory inventory;
Reduced depreciation expense of approximately $60 million and $400 million for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and year ended December 31, 2013, respectively, as a result of purchase accounting adjustments reflecting a net decrease to property, plant and equipment;
Incremental amortization expense of approximately $359 million and $772 million for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and year ended December 31, 2013, respectively, which was primarily attributable to the recognition of customer relationships of approximately $6.9 billion; and
Decrease in pension expense of approximately $22 million and $46 million for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and year ended December 31, 2013, respectively, which was primarily reflected in selling, general and administrative expense, due to the purchase accounting adjustment to unrecognized net periodic pension and other post-retirement benefits.

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Predecessor 191-Day Period Ended July 10, 2013
Significant changes in the underlying trends affecting the Company's consolidated results of operations and net loss for the 191 days ended July 10, 2013 were as follows:
We recorded a gain on previously-held Clearwire equity interests of approximately $2.9 billion for the difference between the estimated fair value of the equity interests owned prior to the acquisition ($5.00 per share offer price less an estimated control premium of approximately $0.60) and the carrying value of approximately $325 million for those previously-held equity interests; and
Increased income tax expense was primarily attributable to taxable temporary differences as a result of the $2.9 billion gain on the previously-held equity interests in Clearwire, which was principally attributable to the increase in the fair value of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses held by Clearwire and from amortization of FCC licenses. FCC licenses are amortized over 15 years for income tax purposes but, because these licenses have an indefinite life, they are not amortized for financial statement reporting purposes.
Consolidated Results of Operations
The following table provides an overview of the consolidated results of operations. The Predecessor information represents the historical basis of presentation for Sprint Communications for all periods prior to the SoftBank Merger. The Successor period includes the operating activity of Sprint Corporation, which includes the activity and accounts of Starburst II prior to the close of the SoftBank Merger on July 10, 2013 and Sprint Communications, inclusive of Clearwire prospectively from the date of the SoftBank Merger on July 10, 2013 through March 31, 2015.
 
Successor
 
Combined
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended
March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
87 Days Ended December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
(in millions)
Wireless segment earnings
$
5,894

 
$
1,837

 
$

 
$
4,948

 
$
2,178

 
$

 
 
$
2,770

 
$
1,395

 
$
4,147

Wireline segment earnings
113

 
12

 

 
494

 
222

 

 
 
272

 
128

 
649

Corporate, other and eliminations
(7
)
 
(5
)
 
(14
)
 
(33
)
 
(34
)
 
(33
)
 
 
1

 
1

 
7

Consolidated segment earnings (loss)
6,000

 
1,844

 
(14
)
 
5,409

 
2,366

 
(33
)
 
 
3,043

 
1,524

 
4,803

Depreciation
(3,797
)
 
(868
)
 

 
(5,124
)
 
(2,026
)
 

 
 
(3,098
)
 
(1,422
)
 
(6,240
)
Amortization
(1,552
)
 
(429
)
 

 
(1,055
)
 
(908
)
 

 
 
(147
)
 
(70
)
 
(303
)
Impairments
(2,133
)
 
(75
)
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
(102
)
Other, net
(413
)
 
(52
)
 

 
(1,085
)
 
(402
)
 

 
 
(683
)
 
(3
)
 
22

Operating (loss) income
(1,895
)
 
420

 
(14
)
 
(1,855
)
 
(970
)
 
(33
)
 
 
(885
)
 
29

 
(1,820
)
Interest expense
(2,051
)
 
(516
)
 

 
(2,053
)
 
(918
)
 

 
 
(1,135
)
 
(432
)
 
(1,428
)
Equity in losses of unconsolidated investments, net

 

 

 
(482
)
 

 

 
 
(482
)
 
(202
)
 
(1,114
)
Gain on previously-held equity interests

 

 

 
2,926

 

 

 
 
2,926

 

 

Other income (expense), net
27

 
1

 
6

 
92

 
73

 
10

 
 
19

 

 
190

Income tax benefit (expense)
574

 
(56
)
 
(1
)
 
(1,646
)
 
(45
)
 
(4
)
 
 
(1,601
)
 
(38
)
 
(154
)
Net loss
$
(3,345
)
 
$
(151
)
 
$
(9
)
 
$
(3,018
)
 
$
(1,860
)
 
$
(27
)
 
 
$
(1,158
)
 
$
(643
)
 
$
(4,326
)

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Depreciation Expense
Successor Year Ended March 31, 2015 and Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013
Depreciation expense increased $1.8 billion, or 87% in the year ended March 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily due to comparing a full twelve-month period to a shortened Post-merger period.
Successor Three-Month Transition Period Ended March 31, 2014 and Predecessor Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2013
Depreciation expense decreased $554 million, or 39%, in the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013 primarily due to the absence of accelerated depreciation associated with equipment related to our legacy Nextel and Sprint platforms. This reduction was partially offset by increased depreciation on asset additions primarily associated with improving the quality of our network and assets acquired as a result of the Clearwire Acquisition. The deployment of our network modernization program resulted in incremental charges during earlier stages of implementation including, but not limited to, an increase in depreciation associated with existing assets related to both the Nextel and Sprint platforms, due to changes in our estimates of the remaining useful lives of long-lived assets, and the expected timing and amount of asset retirement obligations, which continued to have an impact on our results of operations through 2013. The incremental effect of accelerated depreciation due to the implementation of our network modernization program was approximately $360 million during the Predecessor three-month period ended March 31, 2013, of which the majority related to the Nextel platform, compared to no such accelerated depreciation in the three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014.
Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
Depreciation expense decreased $4.2 billion, or 68%, for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 primarily due to comparing results for the shortened Post-merger period to a period consisting of a full calendar year. In addition, the decrease in depreciation expense was driven by accelerated depreciation expense recognized in 2012 from the modernization of our network, with no such accelerated depreciation in the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 and asset revaluations as a result of the SoftBank Merger. These decreases were partially offset by increased depreciation expense on assets acquired as a result of the Clearwire Acquisition and asset additions primarily related to network initiatives.
Successor Year Ended March 31, 2015 and Combined Year Ended December 31, 2013
Specific efforts to improve the quality of our network, which began in 2011, as well as the shut down of the Nextel platform on June 30, 2013, resulted in incremental charges during earlier stages of these efforts including, but not limited to, an increase in depreciation associated with existing assets related to both the Nextel and Sprint platforms, due to changes in our estimates of the remaining useful lives of long-lived assets, and the expected timing and amount of asset retirement obligations, which continued to have an impact on our results of operations in 2013. The incremental effect of accelerated depreciation was approximately $800 million during the Predecessor 191-day period ended July 10, 2013, of which the majority related to the Nextel platform, which was shut down on June 30, 2013, compared to no such accelerated depreciation in the Successor year ended March 31, 2015. In addition to the explanations above and the effect of accelerated depreciation in the Predecessor period, the depreciation expense also decreased by approximately $160 million for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 due to asset revaluations as a result of the SoftBank Merger in 2013.
Combined Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
In addition to the explanations above, the decrease in depreciation expense for the combined year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 was primarily due to the reduction of accelerated depreciation partially offset by increased depreciation expense primarily due to network asset additions in the Predecessor 191-day period. The incremental effect of accelerated depreciation expense totaled approximately $2.1 billion for the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012, which was primarily related to the shut-down of the Nextel platform on June 30, 2013.
Amortization Expense
Successor Year Ended March 31, 2015 and Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013
Amortization expense increased $644 million, or 71%, in the year ended March 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013, primarily due to comparing results for a full twelve-month period to a shortened Post-merger period which primarily consisted of amortization of customer relationships of approximately $6.9 billion that were

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recognized as a result of the SoftBank Merger. Customer relationship intangible assets are amortized using the sum-of-the-months'-digits method, which results in higher amortization rates in early periods that will decline over time.
Successor Three-Month Transition Period Ended March 31, 2014 and Predecessor Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2013
Amortization expense increased $359 million, or 513%, in the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013, primarily due to the recognition of definite-lived intangible assets related to customer relationships of approximately $6.9 billion as a result of the SoftBank Merger. Customer relationship intangible assets are amortized using the sum-of-the-months'-digits method, which results in higher amortization rates in early periods that will decline over time.
Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
Amortization expense increased $605 million, or 200%, for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012, primarily due to the recognition of definite-lived intangible assets related to customer relationships of approximately $6.9 billion as a result of the SoftBank Merger. Customer relationship intangible assets are amortized using the sum-of-the-months'-digits method, which results in higher amortization rates in early periods that will decline over time.
Impairments
During the quarter ended December 31, 2014, we determined that recoverability of the carrying amount of the Sprint trade name should be evaluated for impairment due to changes in circumstances surrounding our Wireless reporting unit. As a result, we recorded an impairment loss of $1.9 billion, which is included in “Impairments” in our consolidated statements of operations. During the quarter ended December 31, 2014, we also tested the recoverability of the Wireline asset group, which consists primarily of property, plant and equipment, due to continued declines in our Wireline segment earnings and our forecast that projected continued losses in future periods. As a result, we recorded an impairment loss of $233 million to reduce the carrying value of Wireline’s property, plant and equipment to its estimated fair value, which is included in “Impairments” in our consolidated statements of operations.
During the three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014, we recorded $75 million of asset impairments primarily related to network equipment assets that were no longer necessary for management's strategic plans.
During the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012, we recorded asset impairments consisting of $18 million of assets associated with a decision to utilize fiber backhaul rather than microwave backhaul and $66 million of capitalized assets that we no longer intend to deploy as a result of the termination of the spectrum hosting arrangement with LightSquared. We had an additional $18 million of asset impairments primarily related to assets that were no longer necessary for management's strategic plans and were primarily related to network asset equipment.
Other, net
The following table provides additional information regarding items included in "Other, net."
 
Successor
 
Combined
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended
March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
(in millions)
Severance and exit costs
$
(304
)
 
$
(52
)
 
$
(961
)
 
$
(309
)
 
 
$
(652
)
 
$
(25
)
 
$
(196
)
Litigation
(91
)
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Partial pension settlement
(59
)
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Release of assumed liability - United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular) asset acquisition
41

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Spectrum hosting contract termination

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
236

Gains from asset dispositions and exchanges

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
29

Other

 

 
(124
)
 
(93
)
 
 
(31
)
 
22

 
(47
)
Total (expense) income
$
(413
)
 
$
(52
)
 
$
(1,085
)
 
$
(402
)
 
 
$
(683
)
 
$
(3
)
 
$
22


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Other, net reflected an expense of $413 million in the year ended March 31, 2015. Severance and exit costs included $253 million of severance primarily associated with reductions in force and $13 million of lease exit costs primarily associated with tower and cell sites as well as facility closures. In addition, we recognized $38 million of costs during the period related to payments that will continue to be made under our backhaul access contracts for which we will no longer be receiving any economic benefit. Litigation of $91 million represented legal reserves for various pending legal suits and proceedings. Partial pension settlement was the result of the Company’s Board of Directors approving a plan amendment to the Sprint Retirement Pension Plan (Plan) to offer certain terminated participants, who had not begun to receive Plan benefits, the opportunity to voluntarily elect to receive their benefits as an immediate lump sum distribution. The lump sum distribution created a settlement event that resulted in a $59 million charge. As a result of the May 2013 U.S. Cellular asset acquisition, we recorded a liability related to network shut-down costs for which we agreed to reimburse U.S. Cellular. During the quarter ended December 31, 2014, we identified favorable trends in actual costs and, as a result, we released some of the reserve, resulting in a gain of approximately $41 million.
Other, net reflected an expense of $52 million in the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014. Severance and exit costs of $52 million for the three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 included $14 million of severance primarily associated with reductions in force and $11 million of lease exit costs primarily associated with retail store closures. In addition, we recognized $31 million of costs during the period related to payments that will continue to be made under our backhaul access contracts for which we will no longer be receiving any economic benefit, of which $4 million was recognized as "Cost of services."
Other, net reflected an expense of $402 million for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013. Severance and exit costs of $309 million for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 included $219 million of severance primarily associated with reductions in force and $56 million of lease exit costs primarily associated with the decommissioning of the Nextel platform. In addition, we recognized $53 million of payments that will continue to be made under our backhaul access contracts for which we will no longer be receiving any economic benefit, and of which $19 million was recognized as "Cost of services." The $93 million reflected in "Other" included $100 million of business combination fees paid to unrelated parties in connection with the transactions with SoftBank and Clearwire and are classified within selling, general and administrative expense in our consolidated statements of operations. This is partially offset by $7 million of reimbursements related to 2012 hurricane-related charges recorded as a contra expense in cost of services in our consolidated statements of operations.
Other, net reflected an expense of $683 million in the Predecessor 191-day period ended July 10, 2013. Exit costs included lease exit costs of $478 million primarily associated with taking certain Nextel platform sites off-air by June 30, 2013 and $151 million related to payments that will continue to be made under our backhaul access contracts for which we will no longer be receiving any economic benefit. Of the $151 million of future payments, $35 million was recognized as "Cost of services" and $116 million was recognized in "Severance and exit costs." We also recognized $58 million of severance related to reductions in force. "Other" included $53 million of business combination fees paid to unrelated parties as described above, partially offset by a favorable ruling by the Texas Supreme Court in connection with the taxation of E911 services, which resulted in a non-cash benefit of $22 million.
Other, net reflected an expense of $3 million in the Predecessor three-month period ended March 31, 2013. Severance and exit costs $17 million of severance primarily associated with selective reductions in force and $8 million of lease exit costs associated with taking certain Nextel platform sites off-air. A favorable ruling by the Texas Supreme Court in connection with the taxation of E911 services resulted in a non-cash benefit of $22 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
Other, net reflected income of $22 million in the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012. Severance and exit costs in 2012 included lease exit costs of $196 million associated with taking certain Nextel platform sites off-air in the quarters ending June 30, 2012 and September 30, 2012. Gains from asset dispositions and exchanges were primarily related to spectrum exchange transactions. The spectrum hosting contract termination was a result of the recognition of $236 million of the total $310 million paid by LightSquared in 2011 as operating income in "Other, net" due to the termination of our spectrum hosting arrangement with LiqhtSquared. The amount reflected in "Other" consisted of $45 million of hurricane-related costs and $19 million of expenses associated with business combinations partially offset by $17 million in benefits resulting from favorable developments relating to access cost disputes with certain exchange carriers.

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Interest Expense
Successor Year Ended March 31, 2015 and Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013
Interest expense increased $1.1 billion, or 123%, in the year ended March 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily due to interest associated with debt of $9.0 billion issued in September and December 2013 as well as comparing a full calendar year to a shortened Post-merger period. The effective interest rate, which includes capitalized interest, on the weighted average long-term debt balance of $32.7 billion was 6.4% in the year ended March 31, 2015 compared to 7.7% for the Combined year ended December 31, 2013. The decrease in the effective interest rate is primarily due to interest expense of $247 million recognized in the Combined year ended December 31, 2013 related to the beneficial conversion feature on the $3.1 billion Bond. See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” for more information on the Company's financing activities.
Successor Three-Month Transition Period Ended March 31, 2014 and Predecessor Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2013
Interest expense increased $84 million, or 19%, in the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013, primarily due to interest associated with debt of $9.0 billion issued in September and December 2013 and the debt assumed as a result of the Clearwire acquisition. This was partially offset by premium amortization which was the result of our debt being revalued in connection with the SoftBank merger. The effective interest rate, which includes capitalized interest, on the weighted average long-term debt balance of $32.9 billion and $24.5 billion was 6.4% and 7.3% for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and the Predecessor three-month period ended March 31, 2013, respectively. See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” for more information on the Company's financing activities.
Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
Interest expense decreased $510 million, or 36%, for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012. The decrease was primarily due to comparing a shortened Post-merger period to a Predecessor period representing a full calendar year. This decrease was partially offset by interest expense increases as a result of the debt assumed in the Clearwire Acquisition and new debt issuances of $9.0 billion in September and December 2013. See "Liquidity and Capital Resources" for more information on the Company's financing activities.
Taking into account the Clearwire and SoftBank transactions, the Company's consolidated debt balance was approximately $33.0 billion as of December 31, 2013. The effective interest rate, which includes capitalized interest, for the Combined year ended December 31, 2013 was 7.7% based on a weighted average long-term debt balance of $27.5 billion. The effective interest rate, which includes capitalized interest, on the weighted average long-term debt balances of $22.0 billion was 7.8% for the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012. See "Liquidity and Capital Resources" for more information on the Company's financing activities.
Combined Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
In addition to the explanations above, the interest expense increase for the Combined year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 was partially due to reductions in the amount of interest capitalized related to spectrum licenses.
Equity in Losses of Unconsolidated Investments, net
As a result of the Clearwire Acquisition on July 9, 2013 and the resulting consolidation of Clearwire results of operations into the accounts of the Company, the Successor period results of operations do not reflect any equity in losses of unconsolidated investments. Equity in losses from Clearwire were $482 million, $202 million, and $1.1 billion for the Predecessor 190-day period ended July 9, 2013, Predecessor unaudited three-month period ended March 31, 2013, and the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012, respectively. The equity in losses from our investment in Clearwire consisted of our share of Clearwire's net loss and other adjustments, if any, such as non-cash impairment of our investment, gains or losses associated with the dilution of our ownership interest resulting from Clearwire's equity issuances, derivative losses associated with the change in fair value of the embedded derivative included in exchangeable notes between Clearwire and Sprint, and other items recognized by Clearwire Corporation that did not affect our economic interest. Sprint's equity in losses for the Predecessor 190-day period ended July 9, 2013, include a $65 million derivative loss associated with the change in fair value of the embedded derivative. Equity in losses from Clearwire for the year ended December 31, 2012 included $204 million in pre-tax impairment reflecting Sprint's reduction in the carrying value of its investment in Clearwire to an estimated fair value as well as charges of approximately $41 million, which were associated with Clearwire's write-off of certain network and other assets that no longer met its strategic plans.

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Other income (expense), net
The following table provides additional information on items included in "Other income (expense), net."
 
Successor
 
Combined
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended
March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
87 Days Ended December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
 
2013
 
2012
 
(in millions)
Interest income
$
12

 
$
4

 
$
14

 
$
69

 
$
36

 
$
10

 
 
$
33

 
$
65

Gain (loss) on early retirement of debt

 

 

 
44

 
56

 

 
 
(12
)
 
81

Other, net
15

 
(3
)
 
(8
)
 
(21
)
 
(19
)
 

 
 
(2
)
 
44

Total
$
27

 
$
1

 
$
6

 
$
92

 
$
73

 
$
10

 
 
$
19

 
$
190

Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
"Other income (expense), net" represented income of $73 million for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 compared to income of $190 million in the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012. Other, net in the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 primarily consisted of $159 million of income related to the recognition of the remaining unaccreted convertible bond discount. In addition, the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 included a $175 million loss related to the embedded derivative associated with the Bond. Gain on early retirement of debt in the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 was a result of early retirement of the Clearwire Communications LLC and Clearwire Finance, Inc. 12% secured notes due 2015 and 12% secured notes due 2017 and in the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 was attributable to the early redemption of Nextel Communications, Inc. debt.
Income Tax Expense
The Successor period income tax benefit for the year ended March 31, 2015 of $574 million represented a consolidated effective tax rate of approximately 15%. The Successor period income tax expense for the three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and the year ended December 31, 2013 of $56 million and $45 million, respectively, represented a consolidated effective tax rate of approximately 59% and 3%, respectively. The Predecessor period income tax expense for the three-month period ended March 31, 2013 and year ended December 31, 2012 of $38 million and $154 million, respectively, represented a consolidated effective tax rate of approximately 6% and 4%, respectively. The income tax benefit for the year ended March 31, 2015 is primarily attributable to recognition of a tax benefit on the $1.9 billion Sprint trade name impairment loss, partially offset by tax expense on taxable temporary differences from the amortization of FCC licenses for income tax purposes. The expense for the 191 days ended July 10, 2013 of approximately $1.6 billion was primarily attributable to the recognition of tax expense on the $2.9 billion gain on previously-held equity interests in Clearwire. The income tax expense for the remaining Successor and Predecessor periods presented was primarily attributable to taxable temporary differences from amortization of FCC licenses and included net increases to the valuation allowance for federal and state deferred tax assets primarily related to net operating loss carryforwards generated during the respective periods of $82 million and $708 million, for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 and year ended December 31, 2013, respectively, and $265 million and $1.8 billion for the Predecessor three-month period ended March 31, 2013 and year ended December 31, 2012, respectively. The income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2012 also included a $69 million tax benefit resulting from the resolution of various federal and state income tax uncertainties. Additional information related to items impacting the effective tax rates can be found in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.


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Segment Earnings - Wireless
Wireless segment earnings are a function of wireless service revenue, the sale of wireless devices (handsets and tablets), broadband devices, connected devices and accessories, in addition to costs to acquire subscribers and network and interconnection costs to serve those subscribers, as well as other Wireless segment operating expenses. The costs to acquire our subscribers include the net cost at which we sell our devices, referred to as equipment net subsidies, as well as the marketing and sales costs incurred to attract those subscribers. Network costs primarily represent switch and cell site costs, backhaul costs, and interconnection costs, which generally consist of per-minute usage fees and roaming fees paid to other carriers. The remaining costs associated with operating the Wireless segment include the costs to operate our customer care organization and administrative support. Wireless service revenue, costs to acquire subscribers, and variable network and interconnection costs fluctuate with the changes in our subscriber base and their related usage, but some cost elements do not fluctuate in the short term with these changes.
As shown by the table above under "Consolidated Results of Operations," Wireless segment earnings represented almost all of our total consolidated segment earnings (loss) for the year ended March 31, 2015. The wireless industry is subject to competition to retain and acquire subscribers of wireless services. Most markets in which we operate have high rates of penetration for wireless services.
In late 2013, we introduced new service plans, which include device payment through installment billing, that allow subscribers to forgo traditional service contracts and handset subsidies in exchange for lower monthly service fees, early upgrade options, or both. As the adoption rates of these plans increase throughout our base of subscribers, we expect Sprint platform postpaid ARPU to continue to decline as result of lower pricing associated with our new service plans as compared to our traditional plans, which reflect higher service revenue and lower equipment revenue; however, we also expect reduced equipment net subsidy expense due to Sprint Easy Pay and leasing programs to partially offset these declines. Within the Wireless segment, postpaid wireless services represent the most significant contributor to earnings, and is driven by the number of postpaid subscribers to our services, as well as ARPU. We began to experience net losses of postpaid handset subscribers in mid-2013. Since the release of our new price plans, results have shown improvement in trends of handset losses; however, there can be no assurance that this trend will continue. The net loss of postpaid handset subscribers in the period beginning April 1, 2014 through the year ended March 31, 2015 is expected to cause wireless service revenue to be approximately $1.2 billion lower for the fiscal year 2015 than it would have been had those subscribers not been lost. The expected negative impact to service revenue and wireless segment earnings as a result of these subscriber losses is expected to be partially mitigated by net additions of tablets and connected devices experienced during the same period and increases in equipment revenue due to subscribers electing to use our installment billing and leasing programs. In addition, we leased devices through Sprint direct channels totaling approximately $1.2 billion during the year ended March 31, 2015 that would have increased cost of goods sold if they had been purchased under the installment billing or traditional subsidized programs. If the trend of handset subscriber net losses continues, we expect to see continued pressure on segment earnings. We have taken initiatives to provide the best value in wireless service while continuing to enhance our network performance, coverage and capacity in order to attract and retain valuable handset subscribers. In addition, we are evaluating our cost model to operationalize a more effective cost structure that better matches our new service plans, which we believe may help to relieve some of the pressure we expect on earnings.

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The following table provides an overview of the results of operations of our Wireless segment.
 
Successor
 
Combined
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended
March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Years Ended
December 31,
Wireless Segment Earnings
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
(in millions)
Sprint platform
$
21,181

 
$
5,719

 
$
23,225

 
$
10,983

 
 
$
12,242

 
$
5,773

 
$
22,264

Nextel platform

 

 
217

 

 
 
217

 
143

 
1,455

Total postpaid
21,181

 
5,719

 
23,442

 
10,983

 
 
12,459

 
5,916

 
23,719

Sprint platform
4,905

 
1,232

 
4,867

 
2,265

 
 
2,602

 
1,194

 
4,380

Nextel platform

 

 
50

 

 
 
50

 
33

 
525

Total prepaid
4,905

 
1,232

 
4,917

 
2,265

 
 
2,652

 
1,227

 
4,905

Other(1)
458

 
145

 
359

 
331

 
 
28

 

 

Retail service revenue
26,544

 
7,096

 
28,718

 
13,579

 
 
15,139

 
7,143

 
28,624

Wholesale, affiliate and other
793

 
159

 
545

 
266

 
 
279

 
133

 
483

Total service revenue
27,337

 
7,255

 
29,263

 
13,845

 
 
15,418

 
7,276

 
29,107

Cost of services (exclusive of depreciation and amortization)
(7,945
)
 
(2,106
)
 
(9,045
)
 
(4,342
)
 
 
(4,703
)
 
(2,171
)
 
(9,017
)
Service gross margin
19,392

 
5,149

 
20,218

 
9,503

 
 
10,715

 
5,105

 
20,090

Service gross margin percentage
71
 %
 
71
 %
 
69
 %
 
69
 %
 
 
69
 %
 
70
 %
 
69
 %
Equipment revenue
4,990

 
999

 
3,504

 
1,797

 
 
1,707

 
813

 
3,248

Cost of products (exclusive of depreciation and amortization)
(9,309
)
 
(2,038
)
 
(9,475
)
 
(4,603
)
 
 
(4,872
)
 
(2,293
)
 
(9,905
)
Equipment net subsidy
(4,319
)
 
(1,039
)
 
(5,971
)
 
(2,806
)
 
 
(3,165
)
 
(1,480
)
 
(6,657
)
Equipment net subsidy percentage
(87
)%
 
(104
)%
 
(170
)%
 
(156
)%
 
 
(185
)%
 
(182
)%
 
(205
)%
Selling, general and administrative expense
(9,179
)
 
(2,273
)
 
(9,299
)
 
(4,519
)
 
 
(4,780
)
 
(2,230
)
 
(9,286
)
Wireless segment earnings
$
5,894

 
$
1,837

 
$
4,948

 
$
2,178

 
 
$
2,770

 
$
1,395

 
$
4,147

___________________
(1)
Represents service revenue primarily related to the acquisition of Clearwire on July 9, 2013.
Service Revenue
Our Wireless segment generates service revenue from the sale of wireless services and the sale of wholesale and other services. Service revenue consists of fixed monthly recurring charges, variable usage charges and miscellaneous fees such as activation fees, directory assistance, roaming, equipment protection, late payment and early termination charges, and certain regulatory related fees, net of service credits.
The ability of our Wireless segment to generate service revenue is primarily a function of:
revenue generated from each subscriber, which in turn is a function of the types and amount of services utilized by each subscriber and the rates charged for those services; and
the number of subscribers that we serve, which in turn is a function of our ability to retain existing subscribers and acquire new subscribers.
Retail comprises those subscribers to whom Sprint directly provides wireless services, whether those services are provided on a postpaid or a prepaid basis. We also categorize our retail subscribers as prime and subprime based upon subscriber credit profiles. We use proprietary scoring systems that measure the credit quality of our subscribers using several factors, such as credit bureau information, subscriber credit risk scores and service plan characteristics. Payment history is subsequently monitored to further evaluate subscriber credit profiles. Wholesale and affiliates are those subscribers who are served through MVNO and affiliate relationships and other arrangements through which wireless services are sold by Sprint to other companies that resell those services to subscribers.
Successor Year Ended March 31, 2015 and Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013
Retail service revenue increased $13.0 billion, or 95%, for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily due to comparing a full twelve-month period to a shortened Post-merger period as well as growth in our prepaid Boost brand that carries a higher average revenue per subscriber. These increases were offset by growth in tablet sales and postpaid subscribers on our new plans that tend to carry a lower average revenue per subscriber

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as well as a decline in average postpaid and prepaid subscribers, which resulted in an overall decrease in retail service revenue when comparing the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 to the Combined year ended December 31, 2013.
Wholesale, affiliate and other revenues increased $527 million, or 198%, for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily due to comparing a full twelve-month period to a shortened Post-merger period. In addition, wholesale, affiliate and other revenues increased as a result of interest revenue associated with installment billing on handsets and an increase in revenues resulting from acquisitions in 2013. Approximately 53% of our total wholesale and affiliate subscribers represent connected devices. These devices generate revenue from usage which varies depending on the solution being utilized. Average revenue per connected device is generally significantly lower than revenue from other wholesale and affiliate subscribers; however, the cost to service these subscribers is also lower resulting in a higher gross margin as a percent of revenue.
Successor Three-Month Transition Period Ended March 31, 2014 and Predecessor Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2013
Retail service revenue slightly decreased $47 million, or 1%, for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013. The decrease was driven by the loss of postpaid and prepaid subscribers due to the shut-down of the Nextel platform on June 30, 2013, partially offset by the postpaid and prepaid revenues resulting from the acquisitions in 2013.
Wholesale, affiliate and other revenues increased $26 million, or 20%, for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013 primarily due to an increase in revenues resulting from acquisitions in 2013. Approximately 45% of our wholesale and affiliate subscribers represent connected devices. These devices generate revenue from usage which varies depending on the solution being utilized. Average revenue per connected device is generally significantly lower than revenue from other wholesale and affiliate subscribers; however, the cost to service these subscribers is also lower resulting in a higher gross margin as a percent of revenue.
Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
Retail service revenue decreased $15.0 billion, or 53%, for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012, primarily due to comparing operating results for the shortened Post-merger period to the 2012 Predecessor period consisting of a full calendar year. In addition, there was a decline of 1.6% in average retail subscribers in the 2013 Successor period as compared to the 2012 Predecessor period primarily resulting from the shut-down of the Nextel platform on June 30, 2013. This decrease was partially offset by a higher average revenue per retail subscriber in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the $10 premium data add-on charge for smartphones, combined with increased postpaid and prepaid revenues resulting from acquisitions in 2013.
Wholesale, affiliate and other revenues decreased $217 million, or 45%, for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012, primarily due to comparing operating results for the shortened Post-merger period to the 2012 Predecessor period consisting of a full calendar year. The decrease was partially offset by an increase in revenues resulting from acquisitions in 2013, combined with growth in our MVNO's reselling postpaid services and connected devices. At December 31, 2013, approximately 43% of our wholesale and affiliate subscribers represented connected devices. These devices generate revenue from usage which varies depending on the solution being utilized. Average revenue per connected device is generally significantly lower than revenue from other wholesale and affiliate subscribers; however, the cost to service these subscribers is also lower resulting in a higher gross margin as a percent of revenue.
Combined Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
In addition to the explanations above, retail service revenue for the Combined year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 increased $94 million primarily from the consolidation of Clearwire and subscriber growth mainly in our Virgin prepaid brand as prepaid subscribers are choosing higher rate plans as a result of the increased availability of smartphones. In addition, Sprint platform postpaid service revenue increased due to our $10 premium data add-on charge required for all smartphones combined with a reduction in the number of subscribers eligible for certain plan discounts due to policy changes and fewer customer care credits.
In addition to the explanations above, wholesale, affiliate and other revenue for the Combined year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the same Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 increased due to slight growth in the reselling of prepaid services by MVNO's and affiliates.

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Table of Contents

Average Monthly Service Revenue per Subscriber and Subscriber Trends
The table below summarizes average number of retail subscribers. Additional information about the number of subscribers, net additions (losses) to subscribers, and average rates of monthly postpaid and prepaid subscriber churn for each quarter since the quarter ended March 31, 2012 may be found in the tables on the following pages.
 
Successor
 
Combined
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended
March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
 
(subscribers in thousands)
Average postpaid subscribers 
30,068

 
30,639

 
31,124

 
30,957

 
 
31,296

 
31,566

 
32,462

Average prepaid subscribers 
15,401

 
16,097

 
15,901

 
16,040

 
 
15,793

 
15,686

 
15,291

Average retail subscribers 
45,469

 
46,736

 
47,025

 
46,997

 
 
47,089

 
47,252

 
47,753

The table below summarizes ARPU. Additional information about ARPU for each quarter since the quarter ended March 31, 2012 may be found in the tables on the following pages.
 
Successor
 
Combined
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Year Ended
March 31,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
 
191 Days Ended
July 10,
 
Three Months Ended
March 31,
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2013
 
 
2013
 
2013
 
2012
ARPU(1):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Postpaid
$
59.32

 
$
62.98

 
$
63.29

 
$
63.46

 
 
$
63.10

 
$
62.47

 
$
60.84

Prepaid
$
27.81

 
$
27.07

 
$
26.62

 
$
26.64

 
 
$
26.57

 
$
26.08

 
$
26.72

Average retail
$
48.65

 
$
50.61

 
$
50.89

 
$
50.89

 
 
$
50.85

 
$
50.39

 
$
49.92

_______________________ 
(1)
ARPU is calculated by dividing service revenue by the sum of the monthly average number of subscribers in the applicable service category. Changes in average monthly service revenue reflect subscribers for either the postpaid or prepaid service category who change rate plans, the level of voice and data usage, the amount of service credits which are offered to subscribers, plus the net effect of average monthly revenue generated by new subscribers and deactivating subscribers. Combined ARPU for 2013 aggregates service revenue from the Predecessor191-day period ended July 10, 2013 and the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 divided by the sum of the monthly average subscribers during the year ended December 31, 2013.
Successor Year Ended March 31, 2015 and Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013
Postpaid ARPU for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 decreased compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily due to growth in sales of tablets, which carry a lower revenue per subscriber combined with the impact of subscriber migration to many of our new service plans, resulting in lower service fees. We expect Sprint platform postpaid ARPU to continue to decline during fiscal year 2015 as a result of lower service fees associated with many of our new price plans, and a continued increase in tablet mix that carry a lower ARPU; however, as a result of our installment billing and leasing programs, we expect reduced equipment net subsidy expense to partially offset these declines. Prepaid ARPU for the Successor year ended March 31, 2015 increased compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily due to an increase of higher average Boost subscribers which carry a higher ARPU as compared to other prepaid brands partially offset by decreases in total average subscribers, primarily in the Virgin Mobile and Assurance brands.
Successor Three-Month Transition Period Ended March 31, 2014 and Predecessor Three-Month Period Ended March 31, 2013
Postpaid ARPU for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 increased compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013 primarily due to the shut-down of the Nextel platform on June 30, 2013 and the impact of losing subscribers who carried a lower average revenue per subscriber. This increase was partially offset by a lower revenue per subscriber carried by subscribers acquired in the Clearwire and U.S. Cellular acquisitions and growth in sales of tablets, which also carry a lower revenue per subscriber. Prepaid ARPU for the Successor three-month transition period ended March 31, 2014 increased compared to the same Predecessor period in 2013 primarily due to the impact of a higher revenue per subscriber carried by subscribers acquired in the Clearwire acquisition combined with an increase in ARPU primarily for the Virgin Mobile prepaid brands as subscribers chose higher priced plans.

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Successor Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
Postpaid ARPU for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor period in 2012 increased primarily due to higher monthly recurring revenues, including the $10 premium data add-on charges for all smartphones and device protection fees, combined with other fee increases and a reduction in the number of subscribers eligible for certain plan discounts due to policy changes and fewer customer care credits. The increase in postpaid ARPU was partially offset by lower variable usage-based revenues due to the popularity of unlimited plan options, combined with a lower revenue per subscriber carried by subscribers acquired in the Clearwire and U.S. Cellular acquisitions and growth in sales of tablets, which also carry a lower revenue per subscriber. Prepaid ARPU for the Successor year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 declined primarily as a result of the impact of purchase price accounting to eliminate deferred revenues, partially offset by the impact of a higher revenue per subscriber carried by subscribers acquired in the Clearwire Acquisition.
Combined Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Predecessor Year Ended December 31, 2012
In addition to the explanations above, prepaid ARPU for the Combined year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the Predecessor year ended December 31, 2012 declined primarily as a result of a decrease in ARPU for our Assurance Wireless brand due to a lower number of active Assurance subscribers as a percentage of the average number of Assurance subscribers, primarily as a result of the recertification process. This decrease was partially offset by an increase in ARPU for primarily the Virgin prepaid brands as subscribers are choosing higher priced plans due to the increased availability of smartphones. ARPU as it relates to our Assurance Wireless brand was also impacted as a result of the recertification process because those subscribers no longer had a revenue impact after December 31, 2012, but continued to be included in the prepaid subscriber based until deactivation in the quarter ended June 30, 2013.

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The following table shows (a) net additions (losses) of wireless subscribers, (b) our total subscribers, and (c) end of period connected device subscribers as of the end of each quarterly period beginning with the quarter ended March 31, 2012.
 
March 31,
2012
 
June 30,
2012
 
Sept 30,
2012
 
Dec 31,
2012
 
March 31,
2013
 
June 30,
2013
 
Sept 30,
2013
 
Dec 31,
2013
 
March 31,
2014
 
June 30,
2014
 
Sept 30,
2014
 
Dec 31,
2014
 
March 31,
2015
Net additions (losses) (in thousands)(1)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sprint platform:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Postpaid
263

 
442

 
410

 
401

 
12

 
194

 
(360
)
 
58

 
(231
)
 
(181
)
 
(272
)
 
30

 
211

Prepaid
870

 
451

 
459

 
525

 
568

 
(486
)
 
84

 
322

 
(364
)
 
(542
)
 
35

 
410

 
546

Wholesale and affiliates(2)
785

 
388

 
14

 
(243
)
 
(224
)
 
(228
)
 
181

 
302

 
212

 
503

 
827

 
527

 
492

Total Sprint platform
1,918

 
1,281

 
883

 
683

 
356

 
(520
)
 
(95
)
 
682

 
(383
)
 
(220
)
 
590

 
967

 
1,249

Nextel platform:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Postpaid
(455
)
 
(688
)
 
(866
)
 
(644
)
 
(572
)
 
(1,060
)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepaid
(381
)
 
(310
)
 
(440
)
 
(376
)
 
(199
)
 
(255
)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Nextel platform
(836
)
 
(998
)
 
(1,306
)
 
(1,020
)
 
(771
)
 
(1,315
)
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