OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 8, 2009--
As the White House convenes a one-day
H1N1 flu preparedness summit to prepare the nation for the
possibility of a more severe outbreak of H1N1 flu, Sprint (NYSE:S) is
encouraging businesses and customers to incorporate precautionary
measures to prevent the spread of a flu virus and to ensure the
productivity of employees who may be absent from work and using
Because the unpredictable impact of a flu pandemic could cause economic
disruptions if a large number of employees across the country aren’t
working – either because they are sick or caring for a sick loved one,
or they are isolating themselves to reduce the chance of exposure –
Sprint recommends that businesses consider the following preparedness
tips to ensure the productivity of their workforce during a pandemic:
Assess your particular telecommuting needs for a pandemic situation
and scale your remote user capabilities appropriately. Employee
absenteeism may increase significantly during the peak of an outbreak
because of public health quarantines and school closings.
Enhance your social distancing plans by increasing video, web and
audio conferencing capabilities.
Do not rely solely on residential Internet access to serve employees
who plan to telecommute during a pandemic. Consider supplying them
with tools such as Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards or Novatel
Wireless MiFiTM 2200 devices.
Similar to what
Sprint provides to various businesses and municipalities in
collaboration with Cisco, IBM and Microsoft, integrate your
telecom operations with a unified communications strategy system that
(1) merges employee desktop and mobile phones, so that callers can
dial a single number that rings both devices; (2) enables access to a
voicemail and e-mail messages via computer software or mobile device
vs. checking multiple systems; and (3) allows employees to instantly
know which teammates are available and connect to them at any given
moment with such services as corporate instant messaging or other
In October 2005, Sprint’s Corporate Business Continuity Office
instituted a Pandemic Planning Committee, which meets monthly to assess
effective coordination among Sprint’s various business units in the
event of pandemic flu. Some of the tasks that the Sprint Pandemic
Planning Committee undertakes include:
Requiring all individual Sprint business units to conduct a Pandemic
Impact Analysis (PIA) to assess how pandemic flu might impact the unit.
Identifying key contacts within local, state and federal government
with whom Sprint should build relationships before a crisis occurs.
Managing protocols to prevent the spread of flu among Sprint retail,
field and corporate employees, including hygienic guidelines for
cleaning desks/individual workspaces and distancing employees.
Coordinating telecommuting options to ensure key Sprint employees can
continue to work from anywhere.
Conducting assessments of Sprint’s key vendors to maintain our access
to energy, raw materials and switched telephone network.
Additionally, the Sprint
Emergency Response Team (ERT) has a strong track record of assisting
first responders and emergency officials. During crises, Sprint can
deploy Cell Site on Wheels (COWs or mobile cell towers), which are
self-contained mobile cell sites; Satellite Cell on Light Trucks
(SatCOLTS); Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards; and Nextel Direct Connect®
devices, which help facilitate communications for response agencies.
Public Safety officials requesting emergency assistance should call the
Sprint Nextel Public Safety Call Center – 24 hours a day, seven days a
week – at (888) 639-0020.
During the initial spread of H1N1 virus in April 2009, Sprint’s work to
prepare for infections and disruptions to the wireless and wireline
services was featured by various news outlets, most notably:
Click the following
link for a complete list of Sprint’s preparedness tips for
businesses and consumers to use during a pandemic flu. To learn more
about Sprint’s converged solutions and unified communications, visit www.sprint.com/convergence
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 is widely recognized for
developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including
two wireless networks serving more than 49 million customers at the end
of the first quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services;
instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a
global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
Crystal N. Davis, 571-288-6806