The US government and Sprint Nextel have hung up their respective gloves and Sprint has claimed a big loss, as the government has apparently kicked Sprint's telecom-providing butt out the door. Sprint, which has provided various telecom services for the feds for 18 years, was displaced by AT&T, Verizon Business and Qwest as part of the largest telecom contract ever cobbled together by the government. The newly-coined "Networx Universal" contract has a period of 10 years and makes provisions for wireless voice, video and data services to 135 federal agency across 191 countries. That's what we call a contract, and a stout one at that. Until then, Sprint may still be in the running for another contract for providing secure, IP and managed network services to the U.S. Government. That contract will be awarded in May, but in the meantime, losing $20B has gotta sting.