Sprint Nextel Corporation is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. With 51.9 million subscribers, Sprint Nextel operates the third largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States (based on total wireless customers), behind Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless. Sprint is a global Tier 1 Internet carrier, and, as such, 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 and 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 Nextel has its executive headquarteres in Reston, Virginia and maintains an operational and engineering headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas (where the largest number of Sprint Nextel employees are based). Both internally and externally, Sprint is an acceptable short name for the company