June 10, 2010

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jun 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --To ensure the future availability of new IP addresses for its customers, Sprint (NYSE: S) has completed the first phase of IPv6 deployment for large businesses and wholesale partners that use its domestic Internet backbone. Additional deployment phases will continue through 2010 and by the end of this year, Sprint plans to roll out IPv6 support to its remaining domestic sites and international Internet backbone, including points of presence in the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. This will give Sprint global businesses and wholesale partners the benefits of IPv6 services on SprintLink Dedicated Internet Access service.

IP is the basis of all Internet communications, connecting billions of devices via unique addresses available through the current protocol, IPv4. However, the dramatic increase in the size of the Internet and in the number of devices accessing it is driving the need for many more IP addresses. Industry experts predict that the pool of available IPv4 addresses will be depleted over the next 12 to 18 months. IPv6 is the Internet community’s solution for this issue, increasing the address space from 32 bits in IPv4 to 128 bits in IPv6. This allows for trillions of addresses, enough to accommodate the future needs of every person on the planet.

Sprint IPv6 deployment is a vital step which ensures smooth transition to the new protocol for customers whose critical content and applications rely on Sprint’s converged IP backbone. To aid in that transition, Sprint is implementing IPv6 support using a native dual-stack solution, which allows IPv6 to coexist with customers’ IPv4 network. This approach requires no changes to customers’ network design, easing deployment, troubleshooting, and management of the new IPv6 protocol.

"IP is the glue that allows us to integrate services effectively between wired and wireless, mobile and fixed," said Iyad Tarazi, vice president of Network Development and Engineering, Sprint. "We want to make sure that Sprint’s networks are ready to meet business and wholesale partner needs, and we believe that IPv6 capabilities will be crucial to keep the momentum of innovative new services flowing on the Internet as we approach IPv4 exhaustion."

The next phase will extend IPv6 support to Sprint’s Global MPLS Layer 3 VPN network, currently planned for 2011, and finally to the wireless network, in early 2012. Sprint has offered IPv6 services on its Peerless IP network since 2007.

Sprint has been a pioneer in the IPv6 evolution, actively involved in the standardization, testing, and deployment of IPv6 since 1997. An early adopter of IPv6 in an experimental capacity, Sprint supports a test-bed network to gain experience with the protocol and to offer service to early adopters. The most up-to-date information about Sprint’s ongoing IPv6 rollout is available at http://www.sprintv6.net.

Sprint delivers wireless, wireline and converged solutions through its Business Markets Group (BMG). BMG is a provider of end-to-end solutions, mobile broadband and M2M capabilities for enterprise, small and medium-sized business and public sector customers. Sprint continues to build on its expansive solutions portfolio, which is supported by 3G and 4G mobile broadband, a Cisco Powered Tier 1 global IP network and a growing ecosystem of M2M partners. For more information on Sprint’s converged solutions, visit www.sprint.com/convergence. And to join the latest discussions, visit the blog at www.seamlessenterprise.com.

IPv6 support also is available through Sprint Wholesale, which provides customized wireless, M2M, wireline and VOIP services to hundreds of partners worldwide, who in turn serve millions of end-user customers. By reselling leading-edge, world-class assets in white-label form, Sprint has become a preferred provider of wholesale telecommunications solutions for global businesses. Sprint Wholesale thrives on helping our partners bring their unique ideas to life. Visit www.poweryourideas.com to learn more.

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 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, and the first and only 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 and Assurance Wireless and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

SOURCE: Sprint

Stephanie Greenwood, 913-315-1612