While Virgin Mobile isn’t the biggest name in the American cell phone industry, it has steadily been making a dent among consumers in the US with its prepaid model. Of course, that may or may not be the reason Sprint just bought them out.
Virgin Mobile didn’t have any of its own networks, instead operating as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (running on existing networks). So Sprint didn’t really acquire any additional towers or coverage with this deal; in fact, most of the Virgin Mobile traffic ran on Sprint hardware anyway. Nevertheless, Sprint laid down $483 million (in stock) to acquire the company.
It’s unclear if Sprint will try to keep a prepaid model from the ashes of Virgin Mobile or if this is the end of prepaid completely.
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