Sprint Unveils New Prepaid Strategy

Sprint has unveiled plans to revamp its Virgin Mobile service, rolling out a slew of new prepaid products and services.
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) -- In an effort to boost its low-cost cellphone service offerings,


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has unveiled plans to launch its fourth prepaid cellphone brand later this month as well as revamp its

Virgin Mobile

, rolling out a slew of new prepaid products and services.

The telecom giant unveiled four new prepaid handsets within the Virgin Mobile portfolio on Thursday --

Research In Motion's


Blackberry Curve



Rumor Touch and Rumor 2, and



Sprint also announced that Virgin Mobile will launch three new 'Beyond Talk' plans on May 12. The plans, which include unlimited messaging, email, data and Web services, start at $25 a month, going up to $60 a month for high-end smartphone users. A Blackberry data service can be added to the plans for an additional $10, according to Sprint.

The cheapest version of 'Beyond Talk', however, limits users to 300 minutes of voice calls per month, although the $60 offering provides unlimited voice.

With prepaid mobile plans growing in popularity, this could be a shrewd move by Sprint. The telecom giant, which is

ramping up its 4G efforts

, added 348,000 new prepaid customers during its

recent first-quarter results

. This is particularly crucial for Sprint, which has seen its postpaid business come under severe pressure from rivals


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The Midwestern-based telecom giant lost 75,000 net wireless subscribers during the first quarter, but said that it is stemming its post-paid losses. Sprint suffered a net loss of $865 million during the quarter, although there has been talk that

the company is finally rebounding


Investors responded positively to Sprint's revamp of Virgin Mobile, and the company's stock rose 13 cents, or 3.11%, to $4.31 on Thursday. Shares of AT&T and Verizon, in contrast, dipped 1.16% and 0.19%, respectively.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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