January 13, 2009

Preparations Include Boosting Network Capacity and Providing Devices and Priority Services to Public Safety Agencies

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 13, 2009--With one week to go to what is expected to be a historic 2009 Presidential Inauguration, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is well prepared to help ensure customers and public safety officials in Washington, D.C. can communicate using Sprint devices and services, including Nextel Direct Connect(R), the industry leading push-to-talk service.

Sprint has been preparing for this historic event since April 2008 - increasing capacity on the Nationwide Sprint Network by 40 percent and on its Nextel National Network by 90 percent in key locations throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Other preparations include:

  • Enhancing Sprint networks at key locations in and around the cities of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Baltimore, in addition to working with law enforcement to maximize coverage for the estimated one million individuals expected at stops along President-Elect Barack Obama’s whistle-stop train tour;
  • Increasing in-building coverage around the National Mall, on Capitol Hill, and at other high-traffic locations like the Museum of Natural History and official Inaugural Ball locations;
  • Optimizing network capacity near Washington, D.C. area train stations, airports, highways, and various high-traffic areas like Union Station, Adams Morgan, Georgetown, and Dupont Circle;
  • Deploying Satellite Cell Site on Light Trucks (SatCOLTs) to provide additional network coverage, as well as interoperability among private radio networks completely independent of the local power and telephone infrastructure;
  • Close coordination among the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) and law enforcement and security clients to ensure they have the wireless solutions needed to maximize interoperability - including the Sprint ERT Go-Kit(TM), which provides first responders immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully-charged cell phones and Sprint Mobile Broadband devices; and
  • Monitoring Sprint’s Global MPLS IP network for voice and data traffic to ensure business as usual operations for business and government customers.

First responders will have a number of ways to communicate using Sprint’s networks, including through a government-run Wireless Priority Service (WPS) program and Priority Connect(R) on Nextel Direct Connect. Activation of WPS and Nextel Priority Connect(R) services using the push-to-talk service on the Nextel National Network are available for a nominal fee upon request for approved agencies.

"Network dependability is a key priority for Sprint," said Bill Toth, vice president of Network for Sprint in the Northeast region. "Sprint has a proven track record of providing reliable communications during past Presidential Inaugurations, political conventions, NASCAR events, and natural disasters. Both the Sprint Network and Nextel Network performed flawlessly during the Election Night event at Grant Park in Chicago and as we do every year, our work on New Year’s Eve is a great indicator of how well Sprint will perform on Inauguration Day."

As customers rang in the New Year, Sprint’s networks performed well across the country, most notably:

  • In New York’s Times Square, Sprint enhanced its permanent cell sites with additional radio equipment to support the more than 40% increase in voice calls during New Year’s Eve, while its entire New York City metropolitan area network experienced a 90% increase in text messaging during the peak hour in comparison to a regular day;
  • For the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area, the Nationwide Sprint Network recorded a nearly 100% increase in text messaging on New Year’s Eve in comparison to the same time last year; and
  • Near Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Sprint deployed two Cells on Wheels (COWs) to handle the surge in phone calls and text messages.

Public safety officials seeking information about services from the Sprint Emergency Response Team, should call 1-888-639-0020 or email ERTRequests@sprint.com.

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 nearly 51 million customers at the end of the third 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 www.sprint.com.

CONTACT: Sprint Nextel
Media Contacts:
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806
Kristin Wallace, 404-649-1625

Source: Sprint Nextel