Sprint's acquisition of Nextel didn't go particularly well, with the company only recently really recovering from the flood of user defections from the deal. While the deal may be in the rear-view mirror, it appears that Sprint has an interest in rekindling the Nextel brand as a "premium" option aimed primarily at business customers. The company is also planning a number of other new branding and pricing plan changes as the company faces increase pressure from competitors AT&T, Verizon and increasingly T-Mobile.
The information comes from a source at Sprint who tells DSLReports.com the new changes should take place sometime in the first quarter of 2014.
"It looks like they'll basically be slapping the Nextel name on top of everything that was Clear and then target businesses," the source says about the Nextel revival plans. Sprint has closed the door on new Clear customers, while hiking the price for existing users
The source notes these announcements will coincide with the introduction of a line of "Spark" capable devices - specifically 2 hotspots and 3 tablets. Sprint's Spark is effectively a combination of the company's 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz LTE spectrum to provide what Sprint promises will be real-world downstream speeds of 50-60 Mbps
The new year changes will include some pricing changes as well. "Unlimited data options will come back for the hotspots at a premium, but pricing will be tiered by speed. The other plan options are sharing from a pool, but this will only apply to the new Nextel's devices."
The source also insists that Sprint's current Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands will be merged under a new "Sprint Freedom" brand. Assurance Wireless will not be affected, insists the source.