February 15, 2010
Sprint Business Markets Group Emerging as B2B Leader; Top Customer Satisfaction Rankings, 4G Launches, Third-Party Endorsements Mark Strong Quarter
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Feb 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE:S) Business Markets Group (BMG) continued to make strong contributions to Sprint’s performance in the fourth quarter, capping 2009 with high-profile customer wins, an expanded product portfolio, broadened 4G wireless footprint, improved customer care, and third-party endorsements to drive momentum into 2010.

  • Major business market wins in the fourth quarter contributed to Sprint’s overall positive net post paid growth on the CDMA network and best sequential and year-over-year improvement in net post-paid subscriber results in Sprint Nextel history. Notable wins in the quarter included converged solutions, applications or handset sales toa cross-section of the business market, from PETCO to the Nevada Cancer Institute. In the quarter, BMG also built on its 20 years of success providing communications services to federal agencies, announcing several new and renewed agency contracts worth over $500 million.
  • On the 4G front, business customers profited from Sprint’s rapid deployment of 4G service in markets across the U.S. during the quarter. Sprint 4G is now available in 27 markets covering more than 30 million people, and is expected to cover up to 120 million people by the end of 2010. Sprint 4G service is planned for deployment this year in major metropolitan areas including: Boston, MA, Houston, TX, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC.
  • Along with a growing U.S. footprint of Sprint 4G service, the company announced the availability of the Sprint 3G/4G USB U301 dual-mode device and Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot in the fourth quarter. The U301 connects to laptops or netbooks and delivers access to Sprint 4G wireless speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G as well as access to Sprint’s dependable 3G network. The Overdrive extends the mobile broadband experience to allow up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to 4G and breaks away from today’s fixed Wi-Fi hot spot locations.

"With first-to-market 4G capabilities, Sprint is enabling mobile broadband solutions for businesses today that weren’t possible before," said Paget Alves, President - Sprint Business Markets Group. "4G is central to BMG’s Solutions Sales approach and a lynchpin to expanding our portfolio of applications, devices, and converged solutions that help business customers penetrate new markets, simplify and improve productivity."

  • The fourth quarter proved to be a watershed for recognition for BMG as business customers ranked Sprint’s B2B unit #1 for voice service satisfaction and #1 for data service satisfaction -- outperforming rivals AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile - in a survey of large businesses by Yankee Group and Mobile Enterprise Magazine. The company was also noted in the quarter for "knocking the socks of the competition" in MPLS service to business customers, according to Nemertes 2009 Pilothouse Award for MPLS Services. Among other awards and recognition, Sprint received Frost and Sullivan’s 2009 Award for Product Line Strategy in the North American Mobile Resource Management Market. The award was earned for the company’s TeleNav vehicle Manager(TM) solution for the trucking industry.
  • In the quarter, Sprint formed a new organization to sharpen focus on the rapidly growing Machine-to-Machine (M2M) market. The Emerging Solutions Unit will focus on the company’s M2M and mobile computing portfolio and accelerate delivery of emerging devices for multiple platforms - 3G, 4G, iDEN and IP -- particularly to vertical market business customers.
  • Finally, the company’s financial strength continued to elicit confidence from business customers as Sprint reported $666 million of Free Cash Flow in the quarter, and $2.8 billion for full-year 2009, the highest annual Free Cash Flow since the Sprint Nextel merger. As of Dec. 31, 2009, Sprint had more than $3.9 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and $2.7 billion in borrowing capacity available under its revolving bank credit facility, for a total liquidity of $6.6 billion. In addition, the company expects to continue to generate positive Free Cash Flow* during 2010.

"The fourth quarter is proof of Sprint’s Business Markets Group continued momentum in the marketplace," Alves said. "From 4G expansion, to refreshed products to converged solutions customized to vertical markets, to the highest-value pricing plans, we intend to disrupt and differentiate in the business market -- as third parties have noticed."

He added, "Above all else, we intend to keep the customer experience priority #1, which we’ve demonstrated with improved business care metrics during the quarter. We achieved best ever numbers in Issue Resolution and Customer Satisfaction with Representatives -- and surpassed all other national carriers in First Call Resolution."

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 its 3G wireless network and 4G capabilities, the fastest national push-to-talk network, and a comprehensive solutions portfolio of devices and applications.

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 more than 48 million customers at the end of the fourth 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 www.sprint.com.

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SOURCE: Sprint

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Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436