August 30, 2006
Business As Usual for Sprint Nextel in Wake of Tropical Storm Ernesto
--Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, Nextel National Network and Global IP Network experience minimal service disruptions throughout storm's duration
--Company on alert for potential impacts in Georgia and the Carolinas
RESTON, Va. — 08/30/2006
Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) today announced that the company's Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, Nextel National Network and Global IP Network have operated in business-as-usual mode in the initial impact areas in South Florida. As of 3:00 p.m. ET, Sprint Nextel's networks had experienced only minimal impacts. The wireless switch offices and Global IP network are fully operational, and only a handful of wireless sites in scattered locations are impacted, operating on battery or generators. Up-to-the minute information about Ernesto's impact throughout Central or South Florida can be found on www.sprint.com/hurricaneinfo.
Tropical Storm Ernesto made landfall overnight in southwest Miami-Dade County, with maximum sustained winds near 45 m.p.h., dumping 6 inches of heavy rain across the Florida peninsula. Currently the storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression, and is tracking northward at 10 m.p.h. Forecasters expect that it will head back out to the Atlantic Ocean late tonight. As of 11:00 a.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center had posted Tropical Storm Warnings between Sebastian Inlet, Fla. northward to Cape Fear, N.C.
"In Florida, Ernesto offered a reminder of the importance of being prepared when severe weather looms, but those in Carolinas and Georgia should not ignore the potential impact of this storm," remarked Jeff Flom, Sprint Nextel director of network field operations for the Southeast region. "Our company prepares for hurricane season all year with extensive planning and drills. And while our teams are completing their assessment and recovery efforts in Florida, we are now focused on Ernesto's next stop."
Sprint Nextel employees in Georgia and the Carolinas are preparing for the storm's second landfall, which is anticipated between Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Wilmington, N.C. later this week. Likewise, Sprint Nextel network teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. are preparing for potential flooding from Ernesto over the Labor Day weekend.
In addition, as part of an ongoing investment in improving the company's networks' resiliency, Sprint Nextel has purchased additional portable generators, COWs (Cell sites on Wheels) and SatCOLTs (Satellite Cell sites on Light Trucks) which can be deployed as part of the company's disaster response and recovery.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.