Keep it simple was the message that former Sprint Corp. chief executive delivered Tuesday during an online interview.
A video of the 15-minute talk, which included wireless industry analyst Roger Entner of Recon Analytics, appeared on WirelessWeek.com. It was Hesse’s second recent appearance on the site.
“I learned people will pay a premium for simplicity,” Hesse said about his early days in wireless as chief executive of AT&T Wireless.
AT&T Wireless, Hesse said, simplified its collection of different cellphone rates with a Digital One Rate, and revenues increased.
Hesse said he brought that lesson with him to Sprint in late 2007. Sprint’s Simply Everything plan eliminated multiple rate plans and allowed the Overland Park-based carrier to cut costs. The simpler billing meant fewer customers were calling with problems and Sprint closed 42 call centers.
More customers, however, did not follow as Sprint struggled to grow. More recently in Hesse’s tenure service suffered during an extensive overhaul of Sprint’s wireless network.
Sprint’s owner, Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp., replaced Hesse with Miami businessman Marcelo Claure last August.
One of Claure’s first acts was to kill Sprint’s Framily plan as being too complex.
“There’s no longer going to be Framily as of this Friday,” Claure said to employees shortly before taking the Ice Bucket Challenge with other executives.
Framily was an effort to get Sprint customers to recruit others to the wireless service. Subscribers with Framily accounts gained discounts by adding more customers to their own account.
Claure chose instead to mimic the shared data plans at AT&T and Verizon and has since turned to price cuts in an effort to win customers.
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