February 22, 2012
Sprint Direct Connect beats expectations in key performance measurements, outperforms Sprint’s own push to talk “gold standard”
More than 76,000 calls by a third party prove it: Sprint surpasses own records for call success rates; meets or exceeds in other key metrics
While others test new push-to-talk products, Sprint Direct Connect® improves on its established service, offering largest portfolio of push-to-talk phones and best-in-class features – all backed by 18 industry-leading years of experience
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), February 22, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that recent testing of Sprint Direct Connect – its next generation, broadband push-to-talk service – shows that Sprint has met or exceeded expectations in call setup time, push-to-talk latency and call success rates versus the company’s iDEN-based push-to-talk service.
The results stem from testing performed by a third-party in which more than 76,000 test calls of Sprint’s push-to-talk services were made in 17 markets. Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president-Network, said the results are “conclusive validation of Sprint’s sustained push-to-talk leadership.”
Using Sprint’s 3G data network and the company’s enhanced push-to-talk platform, Sprint Direct Connect has consistently delivered reliable, consistent and instant calls, according to tests. With push-to-talk, speed and reliability are everything. Consider the first responder in an emergency situation or salesman who needs to close a sale and needs instant access to voice and data that work all the time. Sprint’s push-to-talk service has proven consistently to be a game changer for customers. And it now comes packed with broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, more handsets than its rivals – including military grade phones rated for shock, wind and rain resistance for the toughest work environments and a smartphone – and a broadened push-to-talk coverage map expected later in 2012.
“For years, the gold standard in push-to-talk ran on an iDEN network; now it runs on a broadband CDMA network,” Azzi said. “Sprint Direct Connect’s broadband speeds enable customers to experience the latest in technology applications, such as enterprise business productivity applications, social and multimedia support, and even advanced push-to-X capabilities in the future.”
Customers are expected to benefit from other performance improvements across Sprint’s network associated with Sprint’s Network Vision rollout, Azzi said. These improvements include:
- Faster data speeds that enable instant Web access for news updates, HD viewing and game-playing, quicker video downloads and clear video chats.
- Better signal strength when making a call or using the Web.
- Fewer dropped calls for peace of mind when talking to friends, family or colleagues.
- Improved voice quality and less static or background noise when making phone calls.
Nationwide, Sprint is overhauling its entire network and replacing existing equipment with the newest, most advanced equipment available in the industry through a program called Network Vision. Announced in December 2010, Network Vision is planned to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds for customers.
Throughout 2011, Sprint achieved a number of significant milestones in the deployment of Network Vision. It is on track to offer LTE devices by mid-year 2012 and complete the majority of its Network Vision rollout in 2013. Milestones include:
- Completed development and integration of back-office systems to support the new base stations to ensure a seamless rollout.
- Finished lab testing and most of FIT testing of all components of the Network Vision platform, eliminating most risks of the program and validating rapid LTE deployment schedule.
- Launched first multi-modal base station in Branchburg, N.J., and validated improved 3G data performance metrics, such as voice quality, drops and blocks and data speeds.
- Launched first cluster of cell sites in Kankakee, Ill., and completed field integration testing.
- Work is well under way on the entire network.
Network Vision and the recent upgrades reflect Sprint’s commitment to customer service, which tied for the No. 1 spot among major wireless carriers for customer satisfaction in the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index. The survey showed Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the past three years.
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 55 million customers at the end of 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first 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, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
*Source: Mobile Access 2010, PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
* This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding network performance, coverage and capabilities, business and network efficiencies, migration of services new technologies, timing of deployment, and products and services, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, development and deployment of new technologies; efficiencies and cost savings of multimode technologies; customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; service, coverage and quality; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment. Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and in Part II, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” of its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended Sept. 30, 2011.