Sprint said Monday that it plans to open a further 500 retail stores in the U.S. in partnership with British retailer Dixons Carphone.
Sprint and Dixons will each put up half the costs and have a 50-50 ownership in the stores, which will operate under the Sprint brand.
Sprint’s move also highlights a key challenge facing both it and T-Mobile US. Even though both are far smaller than rivals AT&T and Verizon, both Sprint and T-Mobile have to operate vast networks of retail stores and maintain a nationwide network in order to compete for new customers and maintain existing ones. Sprint recently fell behind T-Mobile in terms of customers and is now the smallest of the four major U.S. carriers.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.