Sprint announces Custom Branded Device Program to give MVNOs access to a wider range of phonesAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Less than a month after announcing its "Bring Your Own Sprint Device" initiative, Sprint today revealed another new program to give its MVNOs access to additional hardware. The new Custom Branded Device Program allows MVNOs access to de-branded Android hardware from both Sprint and Boost Mobile, complete with volume pricing, and allows an MVNO to automatically customize a device to feature its branding through over the air activation. This is accomplished through the Mobile ID and Mobile Zone software on the devices, which are white-labeled versions of Sprint's own Sprint ID and Sprint Zone apps.
Sprint currently has three devices that are available through its Custom Branded Device Program: the LG Optimus G, LG Mach and Sprint Flash. The carrier says that more products will be added to the program by the end of this month, but it didn't say exactly which models are coming.
As with Bring Your Own Sprint Device, Sprint's new Custom Branded Device Program should give MVNOs and their customers access to a wider range of handsets than they'd normally have. Right now the device lineup is somewhat small, but there does seem to be a decent selection of phones available, including the high-end LG Optimus G and the QWERTY keyboard-equipped LG Mach. What will be interesting to see is which products that Sprint adds to the program in the future and how quickly we see higher-end Sprint hardware make the jump into the Custom Branded Device Program. As it stands now, though, the program looks like a good way for MVNOs to help beef up their lineup, which is something that should make both those operators and their subscribers happy.