Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE: S) is a United States-based holding company that operates multiple wireline and wireless networks that serve customers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sprint Nextel, through its various subsidiaries, offers services under the Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, payLo, and Assurance Wireless brands. Sprint is a tier 1 global Internet access service provider. Sprint Nextel is the United States' third largest long distance provider by subscribers. Sprint Nextel derives additional revenue by offering wholesale access to its wireless networks. As of 2011, the Sprint wireless network served more than 55 million customers.
Sprint Nextel traces its origins to the Brown Telephone Company, which was founded in 1899 by Cleyson L. (C.L.) Brown and Jacob Brown to deploy telephone service to the rural area around Abilene, KS.
Prior to 2005, the company was known as Sprint Corporation. The company took its current name, Sprint Nextel Corporation, when it merged with Nextel Communications that year.
In 2006, Sprint Nextel exited the local landline telephone business, spinning those assets off into a newly created company named Embarq, which CenturyTel subsequently acquired in 2008.
Sprint owns a 50.8% equity interest in Clearwire Corporation and an 18.0% in NII Holdings (International Nextel).
On October 14, 2012, Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank announced that it intends to purchase 70% of Sprint Nextel Corporation for $20.1 billion. The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2013.
Sprint Nextel is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, United States and is led by Dan Hesse, the President and C.E.O.