Sprint.com

September 18, 2012

Sprint Direct Connect surpasses 1 million-customer milestone

Expanded US coverage on Sprint Direct Connect – three times greater coverage area than Sprint’s legacy iDEN network – proves big draw as customers continue to migrate to industry’s new push-to-talk gold-standard

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 18, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that its Sprint® Direct Connect® push-to-talk (PTT) service has surpassed the 1 million-customer milestone as customers continue to migrate to the service on Sprint’s CDMA network.

Less than a year ago, Sprint launched Sprint Direct Connect, ushering in the next generation of PTT service from the company that pioneered push-to-talk. The service debuted packed with broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, rugged and reliable handsets, and a broadening push-to-talk coverage map.

Today, Sprint Direct Connect has matured into the industry’s push-to-talk gold standard with:

  • Triple the square miles of coverage compared to the company’s legacy Nextel National Network
  • Instant call set-up time on domestic PTT calls
  • International coverage to Latin American countries that most frequently use PTT service; and,
  • A range of rugged, military-spec handsets including the Motorola ADMIRAL™ smartphone

“One million customers in less than a year is an important achievement and reflects well on the permanence of push-to-talk as a communications solution,” said Paget Alves, Sprint’s chief sales officer. “Sprint Direct Connect has clearly met the increasing demand for faster data speeds and better and broader coverage on push-to-talk devices.”

Last quarter, 60 percent of total subscribers who left the postpaid Nextel platform were recaptured on the postpaid Sprint platform up from 46 percent in the first quarter. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is one customer to recently migrate to Sprint Direct Connect from its legacy Nextel service. Sprint will provide FEMA with 2,000 Sprint Direct Connect handsets equipped with an Actsoft GPS tracking and navigation solution to support FEMA’s nationwide Mass Evacuation Program.

Sprint’s upgraded push-to-talk platform, created by Qualcomm, has played a significant role in drawing customers from iDEN to broadband CDMA. “The Qualcomm platform represents a carrier-grade, IP-based solution for Sprint that delivers the advanced push-to-talk experiences customers are demanding today and sets a solid foundation for Sprint Direct Connect to support even more advanced communications in the future,” said Michael Wallace, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Internet Services.

Earlier this year, Sprint announced it will decommission its iDEN network as early as June 30, 2013 as part of Network Vision plans. Network Vision is expected to add net economic value for Sprint from reduced roaming costs, cell-site reduction, backhaul efficiencies, more efficient use of capital, and energy cost savings.

The company has already discontinued selling iDEN devices in most channels; Sprint will continue to support business customers with iDEN devices as needed during their transition to Sprint Direct Connect service.

About Sprint Direct Connect:

Sprint Direct Connect features a portfolio of push-to-talk services that allow individuals and groups to get more done – quickly and easily, with just the push of a button. Among the initial Sprint Direct Connect services:

  • Direct Connect®– Instant, one-to-one push-to-talk calling nationwide on the Sprint network, with any other Direct Connect subscriber. Direct Connect is the core push-to-talk feature and is designed for interoperability across Sprint and Nextel network platforms.
  • Guaranteed Talk Permit – The assurance that when you hear the push-to-talk “chirp,” your call was successfully transmitted.
  • Call Alert with Text – Send an audio alert with an optional text message to let another Direct Connect subscriber know you are trying to reach them, and why.
  • Group Connect® – Communicate with up to 20 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers all at once – nationwide, at the push of one button.
  • TeamDCSM – Communicate with up to 200 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers at the same time nationwide.
  • NextMail® – Send a recorded message to any email worldwide or mobile handset via text message by using the Direct Connect button.
  • Availability Notification – Request the availability status of another push-to-talk member and, if they are busy, request a notification when they are free.
  • One-Touch Direct Connect – Allows quick access to multiple Direct Connect options.

More information:

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

* This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding network performance, coverage and capabilities, business and network efficiencies, migration of services new technologies, timing of deployment, and products and services, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” intend,” “expect,” “should,” “believe,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, development and deployment of new technologies; efficiencies and cost savings of multimode technologies; customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; service, coverage and quality; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment. Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including in its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

 

Contact(s):

Sprint
Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436
mark.bonavia@sprint.com


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