Sprint.com

August 03, 2010

Carlson sees Sprint 4G as communications link for its sprawling operations

HTC EVO™ 4G is first step

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 03, 2010 - With operations spanning 150 countries and brands employing more than 150,000 people, Carlson expects Sprint (NYSE: S) 4G service to play a key role in enabling wireless communication for its sprawling business.

The company recently took its first shipment of HTC EVO 4G handsets, which it will use domestically, largely for traveling executives. The revolutionary HTC EVO comes packed with the potential to transform the way today’s companies do business streaming video real-time, receiving mega files that might have gnarled previous networks, and conducting presentations online.

“The EVO lets our people run apps, talk at the same time in 4G or Wi-Fi coverage areas, and get things done in ways that previous wireless devices can’t match, and the 1 gig processor helps those apps run at speeds we’ve never seen before on a mobile phone,” said Phil McDonald, IT manager-Telecommunications, Carlson.

Carlson is a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis whose properties include Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, T.G.I. Friday’s® and Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management.

Currently, Minneapolis – where Carlson is headquartered – does not have 4G service, so the company uses the phones on the 3G network at home and on the 4G network, where applicable, when traveling. In time, McDonald expects to use the HTC EVO for mobile videoconferencing and webconferencing among employees.

It’s all part of an initial step, McDonald said, toward building a leading-edge, wireless communications infrastructure for the tech-savvy company.

With 4G, McDonald sees the potential of using smartphones as the default PCs for its employees, essentially untethering workers from the limitations of landline broadband service. “4G represents a cost saver – and a productivity boost – for Carlson. Cutting the cord means we can cut a recurring charge for broadband from the phone company and let our people go wireless at the same time. Or if we want our folks to work remotely, we can provide an EVO or a mobile hotspot to let them work wirelessly and save the cost of installing a T1 or DSL line.”1

McDonald added that he expects to use 4G to send and receive data at Carlson facilities as a backup to current landline data pipes. In the fall, McDonald expects to fit Carlson’s world headquarters in Minneapolis with 4G capabilities, eliminating the need for wireless hotspots and wireline LANs.

“As an IT professional, 4G makes sense. WiMAX is an open international standard, it’s fast and it represents a gold standard in data connectivity,” McDonald said.

Tom Roberts, vice president-Marketing for Sprint’s Business Markets Group, said, "As companies like Carlson become more mobile, employees need the speed and capacity to enable high-bandwidth transactions, like viewing or sending real-time video, or video monitoring of off-site locations. With Sprint 4G, businesses can get those capabilities today."

Sprint is the first national carrier to roll out 4G. Sprint 4G is currently available in more than 45 markets covering about 51 million people. By the end of this year, Sprint expects to launch 4G service in such major markets as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C., and cover a population of 120 million.

Sprint 4G and HTC EVO 4G are available through Sprint's Business Markets Group (BMG), which is composed of sales, support, marketing and operations personnel solely dedicated to enterprise, small and medium-sized business and public sector customers. BMG delivers wireless, wireline and converged solutions, drawing on 3G and 4G mobile broadband capabilities, the fastest national push-to-talk network,2 and a comprehensive solutions portfolio.

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 second 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.

About Carlson

Carlson is a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Carlson encompasses more than 1,075 hotels, including, Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza®; more than 1,000 restaurants, including T.G.I. Friday’s® and Pick Up Stix®; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people. http://www.carlson.com

1 Sprint 4G is comparable to basic cable and DSL plans offering download speeds of 1.5 Mbps (cable) and 786 kbps (DSL).

2 Fastest claim based on initial call set-up time.

Contact(s):

Media Contact:
Sprint
Mark Bonavia
(913) 269-0436
mark.bonavia@sprint.com
or
Carlson
Sam Macalus, Public relations director
(763) 212-2477
smacalus@carlson.com


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