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Two great traditions of bold innovation have come together in a new company with a clear mission: To be No. 1 in providing a simple, instant, enriching and productive customer experience.
The Sprint Tradition .
Sprint's red diamond logo represented the combined achievements of many legendary predecessors, including United Telecommunications, US Sprint and Centel.
Each embraced the same bold approach that Sprint's founder Cleyson Brown showed in 1899, when the Brown Telephone Company successfully went toe-to-toe with the Bell monopoly in Abilene, Kansas. By the mid-1970s, the company's aggressive growth strategies had firmly established it as the nation's largest independent local telephone provider.
When long distance opened to competition in the 1980s, Sprint immediately seized the opportunity. By 1986, Sprint led all U.S. telecom companies by completing the first nationwide, 100% digital, fiber-optic network. At the same time, the company was a pioneer in data communications, establishing the world's third largest commercial packet data network in 1980.
Sprint charged into the 1990s with pacesetting moves for both consumers and businesses. The company that gave America pin-drop clarity also became a global leader in voice and data services. Then a new kind of telecom company emerged in 1993, when Sprint and Centel merged to become a unique provider of local, wireless and long distance services. Sprint took its wireless strategy a big step further in the late '90s by building the only nationwide PCS network in the U.S.
With its relentless drive to continually set new standards of excellence, Sprint has been a game-changing force in creating advanced local capabilities, groundbreaking IP and wireless applications and unprecedented mobility solutions.
The Nextel Tradition .
In 1987, a visionary entrepreneur named Morgan O'Brien founded a company called Fleet Net. Renamed Nextel in 1993, the company rapidly established itself as a nationwide force in the burgeoning world of wireless communications.
In less than year's time, Nextel merged with Dial Call and OneComm, acquired all of Motorola's SMR licenses in the U.S., and received a $1 billion investment from wireless pioneer Craig McCaw. By mid-1995, Nextel was on point to serve all of the nation's top 50 markets.
Armed with nationwide spectrum and presence, Nextel was ready to dramatically demonstrate its genius for innovation. In September 1996, the company introduced Motorola's breakthrough iDEN technology. This marked the first combination of enhanced digital cellular, two-way radio and text/numeric paging in one phone – the famed Nextel phone. The national rollout of iDEN service began and the Nextel National Network was introduced in January 1997.
From that moment on, Nextel has aggressively expanded its reach and product capabilities. By the year 2000, the company had connected to countries around the world and introduced its always-connected wireless data solution. Soon to follow were its signature Nationwide Direct Connect walkie-talkie service, IP broadband access and a steady stream of feature-rich Internet-ready phones and smart devices.
With unwavering determination to be first, better and different, Nextel has written the book on market-defining innovation, building an intensely loyal customer base and leading the way with compelling offerings for both businesses and consumers.
We've combined two great traditions into a single company with an extraordinary record of achievement. With pride in our bold and entrepreneurial heritage, we'll continue to open new doors for our customers and our industry.