The "Extended" alpha tag comes from the PRL Sprint loads onto phones. Note that PRLs are only necessary (or relevant) for CDMA connectivity.
On most all devices, the carrier name displayed is the voice carrier. Previously, Sprint only roamed on 1x for voice. Accordingly, whether using Sprint or a roaming partner for voice, the PRL always dictated that the alpha tag should read "Sprint" or "Extended" (or "Roaming" a very long time ago when on an international CDMA network). With the recent switch to WCDMA/HSPA voice roaming (which is the default now), the PRL is no longer in play, and the alpha tag reads what the roaming network dictates.