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You’ve got to feel a bit of pity for Sprint. They’ve improved their network, coverage, stores, plans, phones, and customer service only to keep losing customers and money every quarter. As noted at eWeek, at least the losses are getting to the less painful stage: Sprint’s post-paid (traditional contract) subscriber count dropped by 148,000 in last quarter of 2009, though that’s nowhere near as bad as the 545,000 subscriber loss posted the previous quarter. Sprint’s also losing less money, with $980 million disappearing from the coffers, as compared to $1.6 billion the same quarter last year.

Additionally, Sprint’s also posted gains in their pre-paid count, adding 435,000 customers to their Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands. But those brands operate at a pretty hefty discount, and that’s not helping Sprint’s bottom line. It is worth noting that the bottom line has been affected by large costs related to the acquisition of the previously-mentioned Virgin Mobile and regional sub-operater iPCS, as well as investments in WiMax quasi-subsidiary/provider Clearwire.

At the very least CEO Dan Hesse and Sprint investors have to be happy that the pace of losses has slowed. Whether they’re just thinning out the herd so that only Sprint loyalists remain, or we’re looking at a slow change in the public’s perception of Sprint remains to be seen.

[via: MobileCrunch]