Red Pocket Mobile, which has been an MVNO of AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) since 2006, plans to soon add service from Sprint (NYSE:S), according to sources with knowledge of the company's plans. The action is notable considering most MVNOs offer service from only one wireless carrier.
Red Pocket currently promotes its service as running over "America's largest GSM network," and much of its marketing focus is around the ability of customers to purchase SIM cards and make use of GSM-based phones. The addition of Sprint's service likely will allow Red Pocket to add Sprint's phones to its lineup, as well as to advertise Sprint's coverage area.
A Red Pocket representative declined to comment to FierceWireless. It's unclear when Red Pocket will launch Sprint services, whether the company will sell new Sprint phones or simply activate customers' existing Sprint phones, and whether it will offer Sprint's new LTE network in addition to Sprint's CDMA network.
Red Pocket is one of a large and growing number of MVNOs that are signing up to offer service from Sprint. Recent Sprint MVNOs include Republic Wireless, FreedomPop, Ting, Zact, NetZero and others.
Red Pocket joins TracFone Wireless in offering service from more than one wireless carrier. TracFone, the nation's largest MVNO with 23 million customers, has built its success largely by shifting its offerings from one carrier to another depending on which is offering the best terms. TracFone doesn't break out its subscriber base by carrier, but offers service and devices from a variety of wireless operators.
Red Pocket isn't the only MVNO changing its host operator strategy. For example, PTel Mobile, an MVNO that launched in 2001, recently dumped Sprint as its host carrier in favor of T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS).
Other AT&T MVNOs include H2O Wireless and Consumer Cellular.
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