Sprint (S) won’t ditch its Nextel walkie talkie business after all. After failing to find a buyer at the valuation it wanted — Nextel’s $5.4 billion in debt, according to the WSJ — Sprint says it “intends to retain and rejuvenate this important asset.”
That includes some new phones, like the RIM (RIMM) BlackBerry Curve, coming later this year, and refocusing its prepaid Boost Mobile brand for “customers impacted by the current economic environment” with cheaper per-minute rates and a new unlimited-access plan, coming early next year.
Sprint bought Nextel for $35 billion in 2005, but earlier this year, wrote down most of its purchase price as a loss. In recent years, Nextel has been more of a problem than an asset for Sprint, accounting for drastic subscriber losses.