A huge percentage of the Sprint customers they lost went to pre-paid Boost. They lost a something like 75,000 customers net, not the half a million we hear about. It's just a switch from one division to another. Troubling still, but not the unmitigated disaster the media would have us believe.
As for the Nextel deal, that was about the worst deal I've ever seen. Sprint paid $33 Billion for Nextel and has written off the entire $33 Billion. One giant "never mind". Total pooch screw situation.