OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 10, 2012 - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has selected Sprint (NYSE:S) to provide 2,000 Sprint® Direct Connect® handsets equipped with an Actsoft GPS tracking and navigation solution to support FEMA’s nationwide Mass Evacuation Program.
Sprint has assisted FEMA with the evacuation program since 2008; this year, FEMA chose to upgrade its fleet of push to talk devices to Sprint Direct Connect – the new gold standard in push to talk service.
With the addition of roaming and 1xRTT service, Sprint Direct Connect covers triple the square miles of the legacy Nextel National Network Sprint Direct Connect also has international reach and a portfolio of rugged devices with instant call set up times.
FEMA will use Sprint Direct Connect to send and receive critical information to first responders in times of national emergencies. Sprint Direct Connect also will serve a key role in updating FEMA coordinators on events and engaging help at the nation’s most critical times.
FEMA personnel will utilize the ruggedized, military-specification, Kyocera Duracore Plus equipped with the Actsoft Comet Tracker Application. Sprint will also provide integrated project management services to ensure that the agency meets all timeframes and deployment requirements and that all required services are available on demand during this year’s Hurricane Season.
“We are extremely proud of our partnership with FEMA on this critical program. Sprint Direct Connect represents the new gold standard in push to talk -- an upgraded and dependable service required for FEMA’s mission critical, mass emergency situations,” said Carolyn Rehling, vice president, Federal Programs at Sprint. “Supporting the emergency response community is a part of our DNA. We’ve served as FEMA’s partner at emergency deployments of all types across the U.S. Sprint Direct Connect further enhances our ability to aid in their mission.”
About Sprint Direct Connect
Sprint Direct is a key component of Sprint’s Network Vision upgrade -- a nationwide network update using the newest, most-advanced equipment in the industry. Sprint Direct Connect is a next generation network capability that Sprint plans to consolidate into one seamless network with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds for customers.
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.
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.
Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436