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Sprint Nextel Corp. (S - Analyst Report) – the third-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. after Verizon Communication Inc. (VZ - Analyst Report) and AT&T, Inc. (T - Analyst Report) – has decided to start a new program called Custom Branded Device Program. Sprint’s Emerging & Wholesale division will be accountable for implementation of this program.

Under this new scheme, Emerging & Wholesale division will be supplying de-branded handsets based on Google Inc.’s popular Android platform to its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

At present, Sprint offers its prepaid service through its wholly owned subsidiary companies namely, Virgin Mobile USA, Inc. and Boost Worldwide, Inc. The new program is mainly targeted toward the MVNOs, which will help them boost data demand by means of selling customized Android handsets. Moreover, it will also facilitate the users to gain quick access to their new devices through Sprint’s Mobile ID and Mobile Zone service.

Presently, LG Optimus G, LG Mach and Sprint Flash have been included in the program. More such handsets will be available by the end of this month. Customers can easily upgrade their selected Android devices through Mobile ID and Mobile Zone, thereby providing these MVNO operators the opportunity to present their own brand directly to the customers.

Android mobile phones are gaining huge market traction due to its highly user-friendly nature. At present it dominates more than 50% of the U.S. smartphone market. So offering these handsets to subscribers will not only drive customer growth for these MVNOs but will also trigger top-line growth going forward.

Currently, Sprint has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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