Silva Today, Sprint Nextel announced Dan Hesse would be filling the role of CEO, a position vacated in October by Gary Forsee. Hesse, coming most recently from Sprint MVNO Embarq – one of only two carriers in the US to offer Dual-Mode calling over WiFi – may prove to be a strategically minded, advanced-technology maven with the telecoms experience that can bring some much needed success in enterprise and consumer business to Sprint Hesse will face three major challenges, his success on all of which Sprint’s success ultimately rests:

  • Differentiation of the Sprint brand: As the number three wireless provider in the US, Sprint cannot afford to pin all of its hopes for differentiation on its Xohm WiMax offering, currently un-built in the majority of its major markets. In its current iteration, a clear value proposition for business users and consumers alike is wanting, not to mention the Nextel subscribers that Sprint has yet to articulate a strategy for merging these customers into its existing base and incenting them to stay.
  • Focusing on operations: As Xohm is a major infrastructure build-out initiative for Sprint who is now without a partner to share the burden, the appointment of a senior level operations executive is imperative. Sprint has very lofty goals it has committed to Wall Street; assigning a c-level executive to ensure timelines and action items are realized is key to making this happen, if not for Wall Street, for potential customers that are undoubtedly already skeptical of when North America will see WiMax as a carrier data technology.
  • Building the enterprise story: Sprint is competing against an effective duopoly of Verizon and AT&T in the enterprise space; without a rapid build out of services and associated benefit statements from the carrier must be firmed up in the next twelve months in order for it to be considered a viable enterprise telecommunications player in the wireless and wireline arenas.

By Chris Silva.

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