SoftBank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son, said, "This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world's largest markets. As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a v-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint's strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market."
In 2012, the company reported revenues of $35.3 billion, up 5%, and net loss of $1.8 billion. Sprint has been unprofitable for the past several years.
Sprint's origins began in 1899 when Cleyson Brown began the Brown Telephone Co. to compete with Bell Telephone. In 1975, Sprint would launch the world's first public data network. In 1986, Sprint began offering long distance service and its famous pin-drop commercials made their debut. In 1996, Sprint would debut the PCS wireless network, the first all-digital nationwide network.
In 1987, entrepreneur 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.
Sprint merged with Nextel, a provider of wireless phone services, in 2005 in a $35 billion deal.
The company was the first national wireless carrier to launch 4G service in 2008.
Medical Plans - Sprint offers a variety of health-care options, so employees can select a plan that best suits their needs. These options include a traditional indemnity plan, SprintIndemnity, with a choice of two benefit levels; a national Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), SprintChoice Healthcare; a national Exclusive Provider Program (EPP), SprintSelect Healthcare, and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) in some locations.
Dental Plan - To encourage regular dental care, employees can choose a low-coverage or high-coverage dental option. Both options cover cleanings, filings and comprehensive dental work, such as crowns and root canals. An orthodontia benefit is included under the high-coverage option.
Vision Plan - Eye exams, contact lenses, or glass lenses and frames are covered under Sprint's quality vision-care services. By selecting a network provider, your family receives care at reduce costs.
Health Care Reimbursement Account - Employees have the opportunity to set aside pre-tax dollars, up to $3,000 a year, through payroll deductions. This set aside amount pays for eligible out-of-pocket health, dental and vision expenses.
Dependent Day Care Reimbursement Account - Sprint helps employees save money on child and elder day-care expenses. Employees simply set aside pre-tax dollars, up to $5,000 a year, through payroll deductions to pays for eligible expenses.
Life Insurance - Coverage up to five times an employee's eligible pay is available to help survivors maintain financial security in the event of death. Sprint also provides dependent life insurance, business travel accident insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
Voluntary Benefits - Sprint has negotiated competative rates for non-traditional benefits that surveys indicate employees want most: Auto/Homeowners Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance, Pet Insurance, and Universal Life Insurance.
Retiree Plans - When employees retire from Sprint, they still receive benefits under the savings, pension and medical plans for retirees. The Sprint Retirement Service Center is dedicated to assisting employees make a smooth transition into an enjoyable retirement.
Discount Program - Employees have access to national and regional discounts through Sprint's discount program called Abilizer. They save on goods and services from more than 200 companies, including Ford, Disney and General Electric. A monthly $30 concession for various Sprint services also is available.
Time Off - Under Sprint's Paid Time Off (PTO) plan, employees have a "bucket" of company-paid hours that they can use at their discretion for doctor visits, parenting commitments, personal business, observing non-company holidays and vacations. The plan gives employees flexibility in scheduling and using paid time away from work. In addition to PTO, employees receive six paid holidays.
Updated March 15, 2013