Sprint Business Markets Group emerging as a B2B leader two quarters
after its formation
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2009--
Sprint (NYSE:S) Business Markets Group (BMG) continued to make strong
contributions to Sprint’s performance in the third quarter, generating
continued operational and financial momentum, expanding its product
portfolio, launching the next generation of wireless service in markets
across the U.S., winning contracts among customers in all segments of
the market and continuing to improve the customer experience for
In the second quarter, revenue attributed to business customers was more
than $3.5 billion, generated across Sprint’s wireless and wireline
networks. Notably, Internet revenues in the third quarter were up 5
percent year-over-year, reflecting strong demand for Global MPLS
services. Internet revenues have increased to 41 percent of wireline
revenues in the third quarter, up from 35 percent in the same quarter
BMG contributed to the best year-over-year postpaid gross addition
improvement in Sprint Nextel history by delivering the highest number of
total business customer additions in years. Major customer wins in the
quarter included leading banks, tier one retailers, healthcare
providers, a multi-national energy company, an airline and U.S. cities.
Additionally, business customer deactivations decreased to their lowest
point since second quarter of 2008.
In the quarter, Sprint sharply differentiated itself from rivals with
innovative devices that have performed well among businesses, including
the Palm Pre, the Sprint MiFi™ 2200 by Novatel Wireless and the first
Android device – the HTC Hero. In all, Sprint has launched or announced
16 new smart, touch and QWERTY devices with a full selection of
operating systems in 2009.
Launched in the third quarter, Sprint Business Advantage Plans have been
roundly applauded by customers and industry experts for packing more
value, flexibility and simplicity than any other similar pricing plans
for business. And Sprint’s core offering to businesses – its network –
in the quarter reached a new all-time high performance level.
In terms of business services, BMG launched SIP trunking, which enables
a single IP connection to converge voice, data and video communications;
refreshed its Managed Network Solutions portfolio and built momentum for
its Unified Communications-enablement offering among customers. Sprint
received top honors in the Nemertes 2009 Pilothouse awards for MPLS
Services, ranking highest overall and winning top honors in value,
customer service and technology. Sprint also beat chief rivals, AT&T and
Verizon in IP network reliability.
Sprint’s customer experience among business customers has steadily
improved. The Business Care group has improved first-call resolution for
19 months straight. In a recent third-party study, Sprint’s customer
service for businesses rated higher year-over-year across all
categories, including quality of care reps, speed in solving problems,
overall customer loyalty and likelihood to purchase additional services.
Other independent third-party accolades in the quarter included a tie
for first in a respected Corporate Liable Wireless loyalty survey and
the 2009 Business Connectivity Carrier Excellence Award for Customer
Service (ILEC/IXC) from research company ATLANTIC-ACM.
“After two short quarters since its formation, Sprint’s Business Markets
Group is emerging as a model of innovation, differentiation and
disruption in the business market,” said Paget Alves, president-Business
Markets Group. “It’s gradually expanding a gap between itself and its
rivals in the categories of next-generation capabilities, simplified
pricing and increased value for customers’ communications dollar.”
On the 4G front, Sprint gathered significant momentum in the quarter,
deploying service in 17 markets across the U.S. and is expected to
provide coverage for over 30 million people by the end of the this year.
The company plans to launch many more markets in 2010.
With first-to-market 4G capabilities, Sprint is enabling mobile
broadband solutions for businesses that weren’t possible before now. 4G
will be central to BMG’s evolving Solutions Sales approach in which BMG
will expand its portfolio of end-to-end, converged communications
solutions that help businesses penetrate new markets, improve
productivity, deepen customer relationships, advance new partnerships
and improve use of company assets.
The company’s position of financial strength elicited continued
confidence from business customers in the quarter as Sprint improved its
cash position, liquidity and debt profile. The company increased its
cash balance, ending the third quarter with $5.9 billion in cash and
short-term investments and $7.5 billion in total liquidity. The company
reduced net debt by $2.7 billion over the last four quarters. It has no
remaining significant maturities in 2009, and more than enough cash on
hand to pay debt maturities through 2011.
“Sprint is not the same company that it was a year ago. The Business
Markets Group is proof,” Alves said. “Our customer care to businesses
has improved consistently, our products are unmatched and refreshed
frequently with game-changing devices and new services. We are committed
to offering the best network today (3G) and the leading network of the
future (4G). And we intend to be a solid, sound, financially strong
carrier to meet business customers’ needs today and in the years to
Sprint’s Business Markets Group 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 for companies, drawing on the
nation’s most dependable 3G mobile broadband network,* 4G capabilities
that are well ahead of Sprint’s competition, the fastest national
push-to-talk network,** and a comprehensive solutions portfolio of
devices and applications.
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 48 million customers at the end
of the third quarter of 2009 and the first and only 4G service from a
national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data
services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities;
and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused
strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care
satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
* “Dependable” based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G
data connection success, session reliability and signal strength for the
top 50 most populous US markets (including Puerto Rico) from January
2008 to July 2009. Not all services available on 3G and coverage may
default to separate network when 3G unavailable.
** “Fastest” based on initial call setup time.
Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436