Sprint Nextel today reported smaller losses in the first quarter from a year ago as the carrier sold 5 million smartphones although it suffered a loss of 560,000 subscribers. Those sales included 1.5 million iPhones. Sprint said 86% of its branded sales were smartphones and that 43% of the phone buyers were new subscribers. CEO Daniel Hesse declined to discuss the carrier's ongoing ownership issues but did say Sprint remains on schedule for two key projects: the June 30 shuttering of its Nextel network and plans to begin Long-Term Evolution service in the fourth quarter on the recovered 800 MHz frequencies.

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