September 18, 2008

Sprint joins with Livingston ESA to create a partnership that consolidates the Livingston County schools purchasing power and saves area districts money

HOWELL, Mich., Sep 18, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE:S) and the Livingston Educational Service Agency (ESA) today announced a new consortium that enables the agency, as well as Brighton, Fowlerville, Howell and Pinckney school districts to consolidate their purchasing power to deploy critical communications infrastructure and save the districts’ and agency’s limited financial resources.

The new consortium combines the joint purchasing power of Livingston ESA and the four participating districts to achieve annual savings in excess of 30 percent over the individual contracts the participating agency and districts had with competing carriers. The consortium deploys more than 400 Sprint wireless devices to help manage daily operations of approximately 25,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

Following Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s executive directive to state agencies seeking to reduce capital expenditures through the consolidation of purchasing power, Livingston ESA and the Brighton, Fowlerville, Howell and Pinckney school districts pooled resources to purchase important communications tools that enable the agency and districts to efficiently execute daily operations.

"One of our major initiatives at Livingston ESA is to help districts help students. We recognize the urgency of the financial challenges our districts and communities are facing and are dedicated to implementing innovative ways to preserve the high quality of education offered in Livingston County," said R. Michael Hubert, assistant superintendent for Finance and Administrative Services at Livingston ESA. "Collaborative efforts like this new consortium agreement with Sprint can be very rewarding, and we hope the savings our districts experience as a result of this new consortium help."

Many of the deployed devices will be equipped with Nextel Direct Connect(R), Sprint’s premier push-to-talk service, which allows staff to communicate instantly at the push of a button. Nextel Direct Connect has set the industry standard for push-to-talk utilizing the fastest national push-to-talk network with call set up times of less than one second.

Additionally, Livingston ESA has equipped 54 school buses with mounted Motorola(R) i355 GPS-enabled handsets. The buses are used in the transportation of more than 500 special needs students. Each handset is equipped with Comet Tracker from ActSoft(TM), a GPS-tracking application, as well as Nextel Direct Connect service, enabling instant voice communication between drivers and the district’s transportation office. It also gives drivers the capability to contact 911 in an emergency.

"Nextel Direct Connect and industry-leading GPS and data capabilities set Sprint apart in helping school districts efficiently manage students and operate on a daily basis," said Kim Green-Kerr, vice president, General Business & Public Sector Sales, Sprint. "Sprint offers critical communications infrastructure and helps facilitate safe transportation of students, as well as key agency and district resources with just the click of a button, and this proves to be a great value to administrators and parents."

Sprint device deployment

>Livingston ESA: 140 devices
Brighton School District: 117 devices
Fowlerville School District: 52 devices
Howell School District: 68 devices
Pinckney School District: 38 devices


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 52 million customers at the end of the second 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


Livingston Educational Service Agency (LESA) provides a variety of programs and services that support student achievement for approximately 30,000 students and 2,300 educators in the five public school districts and two public school academies in the county. Services include special education and alternative education programs, professional development focused on student achievement, early childhood education and care, data processing, and business operational support.

LESA is one of 57 intermediate school districts (ISDs) in Michigan. Established in 1962, ISDs are regional service agencies that provide support services more effectively and efficiently delivered regionally. LESA is governed by Michigan General School Laws.

SOURCE: Sprint

Mark Elliott, 248-981-3825