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Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE: S) is a telecommunications company, based in Overland Park, Kansas. The company owns and operates the third largest wireless telecommunications network in United States, with over 49 million customers, behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. Sprint is a global Internet carrier (Tier 1 network) and makes up a portion of the Internet backbone. In the United States, the company also operates the largest wireless broadband network and is the third largest long distance provider.
The company was created in 2005 by the $35 billion purchase of Nextel Communications by Sprint Corporation. In 2006, the company spun off its local landline telephone business, naming it Embarq. The company also completed the $6.5 billion acquisition of Nextel Partners, one of its largest affiliates, which primarily provides Nextel wireless services to more rural markets.
Sprint also operates and maintains DCSNet, the U.S. Federal Government's private surveillance network.
In 2009, Sprint announced that its entire wireless network will be turned over to the Sweden-based Ericsson. Under the deal, Sprint will transfer many of their employees and Ericsson will take over the full maintenance and operations of the Sprint wireless network. Additionally Ericsson will be housed within the Sprint headquarters. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of Q3 2009.