Six months after Sprint (S +1.6%) shut down its antiquated Nextel iDEN network, a source tells TechCrunch the carrier is looking to reintroduce the Nextel brand to help underpin its business services. Also, Sprint is said to be planning to merge its Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands into a new prepaid brand called Sprint Freedom.
The Nextel brand's reintroduction is said to be part of a larger push to reel in business users, one that will also feature more streamlined pricing and the promotion of Sprint's high-speed Spark 4G LTE service (available for now in just a few markets). Sprint's share of U.S. corporate/institutional mobile accounts badly trails that of market leaders Verizon and AT&T.
Sprint has been competing better in the prepaid market, but competition in this space has been intensifying, thanks largely to the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger and new prepaid offerings from AT&T (about to acquire prepaid carrier Leap Wireless).