Sprint Nextel Corp posted a wider quarterly loss on Wednesday but fewer customers defected from the No 3 U.S. mobile service, which started selling Palm Inc's
popular Pre phone during the quarter.

Sprint posted a loss of $384 million, or 13 cents per share compared with a loss of $344 million or 12 cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $8.1 billion from $9.05 billion a year earlier in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sprint lost 991,000 postpaid customers, who pay monthly bills and typically commit to two years of service, during the quarter.

This compares with postpaid losses of 1.25 million in the first quarter and the average expectation for a loss of just over 962,000 postpaid customers, according to six analysts contacted by Reuters.

However the company's Boost Mobile unit appeared to gain strong traction with its unlimited prepaid calling plan as Sprint said it added 938,000 prepaid customers in the quarter.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Derek Caney)