Sprint reportedly has plans to bring back the previously shutdown Nextel brand in 2014, and in addition has plans to merge its Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands under one new umbrella called “Sprint Freedom.”
According to a source close to the company, Sprint wants to introduce Nextel again — as a brand for business services. The source tells TechCrunch that this is part of a larger branding overhaul coming in Q1 in which Sprint plans to launch a new prepaid brand called “Sprint Freedom” — merging Boost and Virgin Mobile.
Sprint has declined comment on the report, but if accurate the information points to Sprint upping it’s efforts in gaining more business customers, and streamlining its consumer services.
Sprint – majority owned by Japan’s SoftBank – may be looking to present a more competitive face against bigger rivals Verizon and AT&T. The Number 3 wireless company was recenly reported to be looking at acquiring T-Mobile USA. Sprint acquired Clear and purchased a piece of U.S. Cellular earlier this year.
TechCrunch’s source says the Nextel service will be but a piece of a bigger push to attract more business customers. Nextel has great brand recognition with the business segment of the market.
The new Nextel brand will feature a “premium” offering consisting of the 4G fixed and mobile broadband services that were originally offered by Clear.
Another big move by Sprint will be the new way of offering Sprint’s two prepaid services, Virgin Mobile and Boost, to the public. The services will be offered under the “Sprint Freedom” moniker. TechCrunch’s source couldn’t confirm that the two existing brands would be completely scrapped. The source did say that Assurance Wireless, the free mobile phone service offered by Virgin Mobile under the Universal Service Fund, will not be affected by any of the moves.
It is also unclear what effect, if any, that Sprint’s new “Freedom” service would have on Sprint’s current “Freedom” offerings, such as their international calling plans, and the Freedom Pop “free” wireless service that is a wholesale customer that rides on the Sprint network.