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The Sprint Nextel Corporation reported Wednesday that its quarterly revenue increased for the first time in three years, as improvements in Sprint-branded and prepaid service offset the continued flight of subscribers.

But its net loss widened compared with a year ago, when a large tax benefit lifted results.

The company, based in Overland Park, Kan., gained a net 644,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared with a loss of 545,000 in the period a year ago. It ended September with 48.8 million subscribers.

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