Sprint merged with T-Mobile in 2020. Customers were asked to move over to T-Mobile plans but were given up to three years to do so. One consequence of that merger was that the various companies that used Sprint networks or were part of Sprint were also affected, but in different ways. Below I provide updates on some of the prepaid companies that used to be part of Sprint's network.
You may be surprised to learn that for many years Sprint/Nextel did not offer their own prepaid service. Instead, they allowed other companies to use their network to build their own Sprint-based prepaid wireless services. These were brands like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Sprint eventually bought them but operated them as separate brands.
So here are some of the top prepaid companies that used rely on the Sprint network and what happened to them
Virgin Mobile USA was perhaps the biggest Sprint-based prepaid company for a while. Their phones and plans are marketed heavily to the younger crowd. Hence there was an emphasis on texting and data. Virgin Mobile USA was eventually shut down, and their customers were moved over to Boost Mobile.
Boost Mobile is also targeted at the younger crowd. When Sprint was merged into T-Mobile, Boost Mobile was taken over by DISH Wireless. From what I've read, DISH will eventually operate it on its own network, but for now it uses the AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
Republic Wireless started out as a quirky wireless company out of North Carolina with some innovative features emphasizing Wi-Fi calling when possible but also used the Sprint network. It is now also a subsidiary of DISH Wireless.
Kajeet used to sell phones for school-age children with parental controls to help monitor usage and build responsibility. That didn't work out, so it has now evolved to becoming a company that specializes in managing IoT (Internet of Things) networks.
Straight Talk phones use all the major network carriers, but some of their Android phones used to rely on the Sprint network. Straight Talk is still around but is moving toward primarily using the Verizon network after Verizon bought the parent company Tracfone.
i-Wireless now known as Kroger Wireless is sold online and through Kroger supermarkets and other stores. You can earn airtime credits by shopping at these stores. It now uses the T-Mobile network.
STi Mobile’s minutes never expired, however the company appears to have, finally. They had a couple of prepaid rate plans and a couple of no-contract plans that offer free nights and weekends. Their choice of phones was limited but tolerated for the non-expiring minutes feature.
With Verizon buying Tracfone, most of their phones will now use the Verizon network, though some phones still use the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. They used to allow you to bring your own phone and activate it on the Sprint network, but that is no longer an option.
Another plan that also offers this option is Red Pocket. They now allow you to activate a compatible existing phone on the AT&T or T-Mobile's GSM networks or Verizon's CDMA network.
Liberty Wireless now uses the T-Mobile network. However, their webpage only seems to service existing customers. None of the links for buying a SIM card or plan were active when I last checked (10/16/2022).
As you can see, some of these companies have survived and continue to serve their customers.