MIAMI, May 26, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --As Florida residents, first responders and businesses gear up for the 2010 hurricane season, Sprint (NYSE:S) has prepared its networks and staff so that critical communications are available to its customers before, during and after a storm.
In 2009, Sprint invested approximately $77 million in network expansion and enhancements in Florida, including:
These investments are in addition to the approximately $50 million Sprint invested to expand its Florida network during 2008, the more the than 470 cell sites Sprint added in 2007 and 2008, and the installation of permanent generators at more than 1,100 additional sites in the Florida’s hurricane-prone communities.
Sprint’s network and business continuity teams will also be pre-staged in hurricane-prone states with hundreds of portable generators, Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS) and Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) to readily restore wireless service quickly for customers and disaster response efforts.
"Keeping local residents, first responders and business connected during crisis situations has been and always will be Sprint’s top priority," said Jeff Bennett, southeast regional vice president for Sprint. "With our reliable wireless networks, immediate resource deployment and launch of Sprint 4G service in Florida this summer, we’re confident of the service we will provide this hurricane season and beyond."
Sprint 4G Coming to Five Florida Markets in 2010
With speeds that are up to 10 times faster1 than 3G Internet service, Sprint 4G mobile Internet service is currently available in 32 markets and a number of devices, such as the OverdriveTM 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot and Sprint 3G/4G USB Modem U301 by Franklin.
As part of its ongoing work with Mark Sudduth of HurricaneTrack.com, Sprint has supplied his team with Sprint 3G and 4G mobile broadband devices to give them fast and reliable mobile Internet connectivity during their online and video reporting this hurricane season.
Sprint ERT ready to assist Florida first responders
As part its tradition of working closely with public safety officials during a crisis, the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) is providing approximately 100 Nextel Direct Connect(R) devices and free wireless service to the event personnel serving the 24th Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference. Taking place between May 23 and May 28 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this event is the largest hurricane conference in the nation, with thousands of attendees convening to improve hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery efforts in the state of Florida and beyond in order to save lives and reduce property damage.
Throughout each year, Sprint ERT, trains for the worst-case scenario and provides businesses and first responders with immediate access to mobile communications during hurricanes, other emergency situations and field training exercises, and maintains a 24-hour hotline, 365 days a year, to rapidly address client needs.
Since its creation in 2002, Sprint ERT has conducted more than 3,800 deployments and provided emergency wireless support for more than 850 events, including the recent mining accident in Montcoal, W. Va., the 2009 shooting massacre in Fort Hood, Texas, the 56th Presidential Inauguration in 2009 and Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008.
Sprint offers the following consumer tips to prepare for a hurricane, wildfire or other natural disaster:
For more information about Sprint Nextel hurricane preparation efforts, or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major storm, visit: www.sprint.com/hurricaneinformation.
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 48 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, and is the first and only 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, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 "Up to 10x faster" based on download speed comparison of 3G’s 600 kbps vs. 4G’s 6 Mbps. Industry published 3G avg. speeds (600 kbps-1.7 Mbps); 4G avg. speeds (3-6 Mbps). Actual speeds may vary. Sprint 4G currently available in over 30 markets and counting, and on select devices. See www.sprint.com/4G for details. Not all services available on 4G and coverage may default to 3G/separate network where 4G unavailable.
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806