November 04, 2009

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 business customers.

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 last year.

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 come.”

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.


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

* “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.

Source: Sprint

Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436