Sprint plans pre-paid service rebranding, more in 2014

America's third-largest wireless carrier, Sprint, plans an extensive rebranding in the new year. The company plans to revive a recently defunct service in a new way and also wants to consolidate existing pre-paid services into a new identity, according to TechCrunch.

It was only this past summer that Sprint wound down support for Nextel, its push-to-talk network powered by the Motorola-developed Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) technology. TechCrunch reports that Sprint wants to resurrect the Nextel brand for premium business services, specifically - services based around the Clearwire technology Sprint paid for last July.

Sprint also wants to lump its Boost and Virgin Mobile pre-paid wireless services together into a new brand called "Sprint Freedom." Sprint acquired Boost in 2006 as part of its acquisition of Nextel, and acquired Virgin Mobile three years later.

Sprint is undergoing a long-term transition under the direction of Japanese telecom giant Softbank, which owns more than 70 percent of Sprint stock. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son seems to have aggressive plans for Sprint - Son and Softbank are also rumored to be pushing for a Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile, the U.S.'s fourth largest wireless service. If that happens, the combined Sprint and T-Mobile would still have a smaller user base than their nearest rival, AT&T, thought they'd be awfully closer than they are now.

Source: TechCrunch