4G and solution sales, broadened product portfolio, and third-party endorsements mark strong third quarter
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), November 01, 2010 - Sprint’s (NYSE:S) Business Markets Group continued to make a strong contribution to the company’s quarterly performance, finishing the third quarter with strong solutions sales, notable third-party endorsements and increased demand for Sprint 4G handsets by businesses.
- Solutions sales. In the quarter, Sprint continued to win contracts and renew others to provide 4G, global IP, converged and M2M solutions to business customers. Two notable sales in the quarter included Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA), a purchasing consortium of 30 U.S. states. The alliance extended a multimillion-dollar wireless services agreement with Sprint through 2012. Carlson, a global hospitality company operating in 150 countries, purchased HTC EVO™ handsets to deliver 4G service to members of its domestic staff.
- Expanded product and solutions portfolio. In the quarter, Sprint announced several new products targeting business customers, including two industry firsts: the first Motorola mobile enterprise handheld device (Motorola ES400S) to be branded, stocked and sold by a wireless carrier and the world’s first Android-powered, military spec handset with push-to-talk capabilities (Motorola i1) – used widely by construction and transportation verticals. To broaden its solutions portfolio, Sprint launched Customized Connections, a solution set for small businesses combining 4G service with high-value data plans. In the enterprise market, Sprint and Calgary Scientific introduced the first mobile imaging solution to send X-rays, MRIs and CT scans wirelessly to doctors’ 4G devices.
- 4G availability. Business customers continue to benefit from Sprint’s rapid deployment of the first wireless 4G network from a national carrier. Today, business customers can use nearly a dozen Sprint 4G products on the network, including netbooks, notebooks, aircards and two phones. The first 4G phone in America, the HTC EVO 4G, launched in June and broke launch date sales records for the company. Sprint’s second 4G phone, the Samsung Epic™ 4G, launched in the third quarter and is rated by PC World as the #1 smartphone in America.
- Customer service improvement. Sprint made continued progress in customer care, achieving its 11th consecutive quarter of improvement in customer satisfaction and first call resolution metrics. Small Business customer satisfaction rose to an all-time high 89 percent, driven by best-ever performance in first call resolution and issue resolution. Sprint continued to achieve high satisfaction marks from large businesses, too, notably improving its rating in the billing accuracy category to a best-ever level in the third quarter.
- Third-party endorsements. Sprint continued to win third-party endorsements in the business space for innovation and improved customer experience. For the second year in a row, Sprint received top honors in the Nemertes Pilothouse awards for MPLS Services. Sprint beat all rivals for the highest overall score, ranked highest in value and technology, and earned a close second in customer service. Sprint also won top honors from ATLANTIC-ACM for Business Connectivity and Wireless Business Excellence. The company earned #1 rankings in key product and service categories, including customer service and voice and data service value based on the evaluations of more than 5,300 business customers in the United States.
- Continued financial stability. Finally, the company’s financial strength continued to elicit confidence from business customers as Sprint reported approximately $4.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents. The company expects to maintain an average cash balance of approximately $4 billion for the foreseeable future. Through the first three quarters of 2010, the company has generated a total of $1.6 billion of free cash flow and expects to generate a meaningful level of positive free cash flow in the fourth quarter.
“In the third quarter, Sprint continued to execute well in the business market, earn new customers across all business segments, deliver exceptional service, and attract the attention and accolades of outside experts,” said Paget L. Alves, president-Sprint Business Markets Group. “We continued to gain traction as a reliable carrier with the best solutions, value and network in the business. We look forward to sustaining our momentum into the fourth quarter.”
Sprint 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. The unit delivers wireless, wireline and converged solutions for companies, drawing on its 3G wireless network, 4G capabilities, national push-to-talk network, first-tier Global IP network and a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, devices and applications.
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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 served more than 48.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436