Sprint, Virgin announce funding for their wireless JV

U.S. wireless service provider Sprint and U.K. conglomerate Virgin Group Ltd. tripled their bets on their U.S. joint venture, announcing Friday that each company will invest up to US$150 million in Virgin Mobile USA.

Virgin Mobile USA was announced in October with a $100 million combined investment from Sprint and Virgin. The companies intend to use Sprint's PCS cellular infrastructure to provide nationwide long-distance coverage using Virgin-branded phones. The venture targets 15- to 30-year-old consumers with pay-as-you-go phone service.

Friday, Sprint said it will fund the joint venture, based in San Francisco, with up to $150 million, most of which will be in the form of services. Virgin will fund up to $150 million in cash, according to the joint statement. Virgin Mobile USA has yet to begin offering services in the U.S.

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