Sprint needs $7B in new financing after iPhone bet and network upgrades

Sprint is taking a beating in the third spot behind AT&T and Verizon in the US. As the third place carrier bleeds subscribers in droves it opted to pay heavily to Apple to and the iPhone 4S in hopes the smartphone would win customers back. The carrier promised unlimited data with its iPhone to woo customers tired of throttling and overage charges to its network.

Apparently, the massive investment that Sprint made in the iPhone has left it in a bad spot financially. Reuters reports that Sprint has said it needs $7 billion in new financing over the next "few years" to shore up operations after the heavy iPhone 4S investment and for network upgrade plans. That big network upgrade would be the updating of its 4G networks to LTE rather than WiMax.

Reuters also reports that Sprint has promised to pay Apple $15.5 billion over the next four years for the iPhone. I have to wonder if the carrier might go broke while selling the iPhone and gaining customers. It doesn't plan for the money made from the iPhone to exceed its costs of getting the device until 2015. As of now the Sprint market cap is $7 billion.

[via Reuters]