Sprint, faced with stiff competition for customers who prepay for wireless service, has named a new head of its prepaid group.
James Hyde had been chief executive of nTelos until July 2014. The company is a regional wireless carrier with subscribers in Virginia, West Virginia and several nearby states. NTelos and Sprint have a long working relationship and signed an extended network alliance when Hyde led nTelos.
As president of prepaid and wholesale services, Hyde will oversee Sprint’s Boost and Virgin prepaid brands, its Sprint prepaid brand and Sprint’s dealings with mobile virtual network operators that sell wireless service on the Sprint network under their own brands.
Sprint also said Dow Draper, who had been president of prepaid and wholesale services, will focus on the company’s Virgin Mobile USA prepaid brand. Virgin is expected to launch a rebranding effort soon and Draper will be its chief executive officer.
The company’s announcement said Sprint would “share more about this brand transformation in the coming months.”
Hyde’s appointment comes as competition for prepaid customers has increased and Sprint’s prepaid subscriber counts have fallen. Verizon has been running new ads for its prepaid service and AT&T is promoting its Cricket brand and T-Mobile its MetroPCS brand.
Sprint shed more than 1 million prepaid customers in the 12 months that ended in March, according to the most recent data from the company. Its 14.4 million prepaid subscribers pay roughly half as much revenue per month on average as its postpaid subscribers, who tend to have higher credit ratings and pay for service after using it.