Sprint.com

September 02, 2009

Sprint Increases Network Capacity as First Responders Continue to Fight Southern California Wildfires

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 2, 2009-- As local wildfires continue to spread throughout southern California, Sprint’s (NYSE:S) wireless networks are performing well, with seamless coverage and capacity increases to serve first responders working tirelessly to end the destruction and to assist evacuees displaced by the disaster.

As they do for every disaster, Sprint’s network engineers are closely monitoring the situation and have portable generators strategically staged for possible power outages. Additionally, wireless capacity on the Nationwide Sprint Network and Nextel National Network has been increased in key locations, such as California’s Highway 14 Corridor and the La Canada-La Crescenta, Calif., area near the southern edge of the Station Fire.

Sprint has a long history of providing the city of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas critical support during emergency situations, including participation in Golden Guardian 2008, the nation's largest state-sponsored emergency preparedness exercise and a test of California’s capability to respond and recover during a major catastrophic earthquake.

“Year after year, Sprint has been proud to serve the first responders and firefighters of Los Angeles during times of crisis and in their daily operations,” said Greg Steininger, director of public sector in Los Angeles for Sprint. “Sprint’s first priority is that its wireless coverage and devices keep these men and women in the field connected without fail.”

Sprint is also staged to deploy additional wireless support to first responders with the help of the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) the first and only organization in the wireless industry made up of full-time, seasoned staff with experience in fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), law enforcement, military communications and commercial network technology.

Since 2002, this team has provided critical wireless communications for 34 presidentially declared disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008.

Sprint ERT maintains an inventory of more than 25,000 handsets, hundreds of Sprint ERT Go-Kits™, and a fleet of Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTs) and IP Trailers to maximize communications interoperability among various relief and response agencies. SatCOLTs can restore wireless connectivity just about anywhere, in the most severe conditions, and without need for connection to the local power or telephone utilities.

Sprint also offers these preparedness tips for those forced to evacuate:

  • Keep your wireless phone and extra backup batteries charged if evacuation is a possibility. Be aware that an interruption of commercial power and wireline service also could affect wireless calls.
  • Invest in a solar-powered SOLIO Mono Hybrid Charger or a car adapter for your wireless phone, which will enable you to recharge the battery during times of commercial power outages. Sprint is the first major U.S. wireless carrier to offer a solar-powered cell phone charger among its line of device accessories. Keep extra phones and accessories in a sealed plastic bag to help avoid damage.
  • Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy traffic during emergency events, so remember to send a text message or use Nextel Direct Connect®. Nextel Direct Connect®, the industry leading interoperable, push-to-talk service, is used by first responders across the country for its consistent ability to remain fully operational over any other wireless network, even during crisis events.

Public safety officials seeking information about services from the Sprint Emergency Response Team should call 1-888-639-0020 or e-mail ERTRequests@sprint.com.

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 almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; 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.

Source: Sprint

Media Contacts:
Sprint

Kathleen Dunleavy, 310-709-3689
kathleen.dunleavy@sprint.com
or
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806
crystal.davis@sprint.com



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