June 05, 2008

Sprint Enhances Network, Expands Coverage Throughout Greater Pittsburgh Area

City of Pittsburgh uses enhanced Sprint network to help keep public safe

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 5, 2008--On your mark, get set, now! Whether you are a law enforcement officer, a football, hockey or baseball fan, a student, resident or a business professional, customers in Pittsburgh can now do more with wireless in more places faster than ever.

The city of Pittsburgh currently uses the Nextel(R) National Network and hundreds of Nextel Direct Connect(R) push-to-talk phones and Blackberry smartphones to facilitate interoperability within different departments and public safety agencies. Sprint (NYSE:S) mobile broadband cards are used by the Pittsburgh Police Department in vehicles to access criminal, Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and Commonwealth Law Enforcement Area Network (CLEAN) information in the field.

"The City of Pittsburgh recently installed computers in 200 front-line public safety vehicles. We tested connection cards from all major wireless carriers, and Sprint's coverage out-performed them all, hands down. The push-to-talk functionality has broadened our ability to communicate between departments and other agencies in the event of a disaster," said Howard A. Stern, director and chief information officer for the City of Pittsburgh.

To help ensure quality network performance, during 2007 Sprint added more than 4,000 cell sites to the Nationwide Sprint Network and Nextel National Network. Both networks are currently performing at their best-ever levels, which means fewer blocked or dropped calls, translating to better connections for customers.

"In addition to the $31 million that Sprint invested in the greater Pittsburgh area between 2006 and 2007, Sprint expects to continue to enhance its networks and meet the demand for extensive mobile broadband coverage across the nation," said Bill Toth, vice president of northeast region field engineering and operations for Sprint. "Sprint is constantly working to enhance the performance of its networks throughout Pennsylvania and across the United States."

Of the 238 new cell sites that Sprint added to its network in Pennsylvania during 2007, 68 were constructed in the greater Pittsburgh area. Sprint customers in the Pittsburgh area can take advantage of the recent enhancements in the following areas:

Public Access Areas:

  • Mellon Arena
  • PNC Park
  • Heinz Field
  • Pittsburgh International Airport

Major Highways:

  • I-79/I-279 split in Franklin Park from Mt. Nebo to Wexford exits
  • I-79 south from Washington, Pa. to W. Va./Pa. border
  • I-70 west from Wheeling, W. Va. to Barnesville, Ohio

US Highways Rt. 2 & 7 between East Liverpool, Ohio and Wheeling, W. Va.

US Highway Rt. 422 between Butler, Pa. and Indiana

Local Cities & Towns in Allegheny County:

Downtown Pittsburgh - The Hill District from Mellon Arena to Oakland; including Center Ave., Wylie Ave., and Bedford Ave.

North Hills - Franklin Park area from Diamond Run to Settlers Walk residential communities, including Nicholson Run Rd. and Rochester Rd.

Cranberry Township. - At Seven Fields along Rt. 228

Sewickley Heights - West of I-79 near Mt. Nebo and South to Rt. 65 near the town of Sewickley

Kennedy Township. & Montour - communities near I-79 near the S-bends

McCandless - Along McKnight Road and Babcock Blvd. near Passavant Hospital to Rt. 19 near North Allegheny Intermediate High School.

Fox Chapel - Rt. 28 at RIDC Industrial Park covering areas west into O'Hara Township

Plum - Along New Texas Rd. covering from Leechburg down to Saltsburg Rd.

McKeesport - Covering the Penn State University Campus, Renzie Park and surrounding residential areas along Versailles Ave.

Other Cities & Towns throughout Greater Pittsburgh Coverage Area:

  • McDonald, Pa
  • Burgettstown, Pa.
  • East Liverpool, Ohio
  • Wintersville, Ohio
  • Weirton, W. Va.
  • 84 Pa.
  • Finleyville, Pa.
  • East Washington, Pa.
  • St. Clairsville, Ohio
  • Belle Vernon, Pa.
  • Scenery Hill, Pa.
  • Derry, Pa.
  • Brownsville, Pa. (California College)
  • South Connellsville near Dunbar
  • Donegal, Pa.
  • Perryopolis, Pa.
  • Indiana, Pa.
  • Kittanning, Pa.
  • Saxonburg, Pa.
  • Center Valley, Pa.

Additionally, Sprint added distributed antenna systems (DAS)* at the Pittsburgh International Airport to improve and enhance wireless coverage.

"Sprint offers customers the largest voice calling area, the nation's largest mobile broadband network, the fastest national push-to-talk network and the world's largest push-to-talk community, which enable customers to do the things that matter the most to them on the go - right now," said Toth.

Sprint recently launched its Simply Everything(SM) domestic unlimited pricing plan. It provides customers with unlimited domestic voice, data, text, email, mobile Internet use, Sprint TV(R), Sprint Music, GPS Navigation, Direct Connect(R) and Group Connect(R) for $99.99 a month. The new pricing plan is available to existing and new customers. For more information on "Simply Everything" visit www.sprint.com/everything.

Sprint Mobile Broadband with EV-DO (Evolution - Data Optimized) Revision (Rev.) A technology, combined with a wide variety of EV-DO Rev. A-capable devices, allow customers to send and receive e-mail with large file attachments instantly, do more with immediate Internet access, and enjoy fast streaming video and other real-time applications, as well as location-based solutions, on the go.

On average, customers using EV-DO Rev. A experience fast download speeds of 600 Kbps-1.4 Mbps and upload speeds of 350-500 Kbps on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network. To compare EV-DO Rev. A speeds against the speed of their current connection, Internet users can visit www.sprint.com/speedtest. Sprint is the first carrier to deliver the full power of Sprint Mobile Broadband EV-DO Rev. A from the convenience of a handset, giving customers a speed and capacity advantage unavailable anywhere else in the marketplace.

Sprint delivered the industry's first EV-DO Rev. A-capable handset as part of a free software upgrade for the Mogul by HTC.

With more than 15 years of expertise, Sprint is the undisputed leader in push-to-talk and serves millions of Nextel Direct Connect subscribers. These subscribers made more than 90 billion Direct Connect connections in 2007.

Current and prospective customers can view coverage maps using the Sprint Coverage Tool, which is available at www.sprint.com/coverage and at self-service touch-screen kiosks at many Sprint retail stores. The tool equips customers with knowledge about network coverage in the areas where they live, work and play, and helps them make informed decisions regarding services from Sprint.

*A distributed antenna system (DAS) uses multiple small antennas interconnected with coaxial cables or optical fibers belonging to a single access point/base station dispersed over a coverage area. DAS can also use repeaters and bi-directional amplifiers to allow in-building wireless users a similar wireless experience to what they might experience outside the building.

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 nearly 53 million customers at the end of the first quarter 2008; 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.

Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693

SOURCE: Sprint

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