Sprint is the third largest carrier in the United States and is owned and operated by the Sprint Nextel Corporation based out of Overland, Kansas. Sprint is also the only wireless provider to offer two networks, CDMA and iDEN.
Sprint Nextel Merger
In December 2004, Sprint and NEXTEL announced that they would merge to form the Sprint Nextel Corporation. At the time of the merger, Sprint and NEXTEL were the third and fifth largest carriers in the United States. It wasn’t in till August 3, 2005 that the FCC and the DOJ approved the merger between the two companies. On August 12, 2005, nine days after the merger was approved, Sprint Corporation and Nextel officially announced the Sprint Nextel Corporation.
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Sprint Nextel’s iDEN network is used for their “Direct Connect” push-to-talk phones. Nextel is currently offered as a sub division under Sprint and utilizes small 800-900 MHz frequency bands. Sprint’s prepay division Boost Mobile also utilizes their iDEN network.
In October 2010, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced plans to shut down the iDEN network to focus on 4G technology and strengthening the CDMA network. It is expected that iDEN cell sites will be phased out starting in 2013.
The Sprint network operates a combination 2G & 3G wireless network, using the 1xRTT/EVDO standard, which is part of the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) standard. In 2006, Sprint’s EV-DO Power Vision network reached more than 190 Million people. Sprint had announced plans to continue upgrading their 3G EV-DO network, until it reaches 260 million people in 2007.
Sprint Nextel Corporation is still currently rolling out their WiMAX technology, called Xohm. On, May 7, 2008, Sprint Nextel announced it would merge its WiMAX wireless broadband unit with Clearwire, combining Sprint’s Xohm service with the Clearwire broadband network. Following their merge with Clearwire, Sprint launched WiMax in Baltimore and showed off several new laptops that will have embedded with WiMax chips. Baltimore was the first city in the United States to recieve Sprint’s Xohm technology. During CTIA 2010, Sprint and HTC announced their first 4G phone the HTC EVO 4G. The Evo 4G was released in June 2010, being the first 4G phone released in the United States.
SPRINT PREPAID GROUP
The Sprint Prepaid Group is a division of Sprint Nextel that was formed May 2010. Sprint Nextel offers prepaid wireless services under both its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile pre-paid services.
Boost Mobile uses both Sprint’s CDMA and iDEN networks, and offers unlimited talk & walkie-talkie (iDEN only), messaging and data on no-contract monthly plans.Boost also offers pay-as-you go plans for the consumers on a budget.
Boost mobile also offers two Android phones for those that would rather have no-contract plans. The first Android device that Boost offered was the Motorola i1, which was released June 2010. Just recently the Samsung Galaxy Prevail was announced during Samsung and Boost Mobile’s event April, 2011.
Virgin Mobile is another addition to the Sprint Prepaid group and uses Sprint’s CDMA network. Virgin Mobile targets youger consumers with their heavy social networking, and unlimited messaging and data plans, all with no contract required.
Virgin Mobile offers two Android phones for their customers to choose from, the LG Optimus V and the Samsung Intercept. The Samsung Intercept was Virgin Mobile’s first Android phone released October 2010. Four months later Virgin Mobile launched their newest Android phone, the LG Optimus V.
SPRINT’S ANDROID LINE UP
Since Sprint’s first Android phone, the HTC Hero that launched in October 2009, we have seen several Android devices come to their network over the last two years. These include the Samsung Moment, the Moment 2, Sprint’s first 4G phone the Epic 4G, and the EVO Shift 4G. However, Sprint still is not done and has also taken up on the tablet craze with their release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and their upcoming HTC EVO View 4G which is due for release mid 2011.