Sprint owns Virgin Mobile, and the two brands share the same network. Before being purchased by Sprint, Virgin Mobile paid for access to Sprint's network. However, Virgin Mobile continues to operate as a separate brand.
Virgin Mobile has always had ties to Sprint. It was launched as a joint venture between Sprint, Virgin Group and Singapore Telecommunications Limited. By using the Virgin Mobile brand, Sprint can reach out to customers interested in breaking away from the four major U.S. cell phone carriers. Virgin Mobile offers plans at lower prices than Sprint and its competitors. Sprint also owns Boost Mobile, which sells prepaid phone plans.