More than $340 million invested in network enhancements for
hurricane-prone states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 17, 2009--
Sprint (NYSE:S) today said it is monitoring the performance of its
wireless networks following Tropical Storm Claudette#8217;s descent on the
Florida Panhandle and making significant preparations for Hurricane
Bill, which is projected to become a Category 3 or 4 before making
landfall later in the week along the Atlantic coast.
One of the primary reasons for the loss of wireless service in a
hurricane is the loss of commercial power to the cell site. In 2007 and
2008, Sprint installed permanent generators at close to 1,100 additional
sites in Florida#8217;s
hurricane-prone communities and added more than 470 new sites
throughout the state to its Nationwide Sprint Network and Nextel
As it does for every impending tropical storm or hurricane, Sprint is
staging backup generators and experienced network personnel in strategic
locations to manage potential service impacts.
In 2008, Sprint invested more than $340 million in network enhancements
for storm-prone states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South
Carolina, and Texas.
This investment included adding new cell sites to the Nationwide Sprint
Network and Nextel National Network, installing hundreds of permanent
generators for critical wireless sites and network facilities as well as
investment in additional portable generators.
Additionally, between 2005 and 2007, Sprint installed more
than 250 hydrogen fuel cells on its network, primarily in
hurricane-prone cities along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These fuel
cells provide a much cleaner alternative to diesel-powered backup
generators and are activated when service from the local electric
utility is disrupted during severe weather or other natural disasters -
providing up to 15 hours of back-up power before needing refueling.
Wireless customers are encouraged to take proactive steps before a storm
hits. Sprint offers the following consumer
tips to prepare for possible landfall:
Assemble a hurricane preparedness kit with essential items like
bottled water, non-perishable foods, a flashlight, batteries, and
first aid supplies, and plan an evacuation route.
Keep your wireless phone and backup batteries charged, but be aware
that an interruption of wireline and commercial power could affect
Invest in a solar-powered SOLIO
Mono Hybrid Charger or a car adapter for your wireless phone,
which will enable you to recharge the battery during times of
commercial power outages. Sprint is the
first major U.S. wireless carrier to offer a solar-powered cell phone
charger among its line of device accessories.
Keep phones and necessary accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid
water damage, along with a paper copy of phone numbers that are most
critical in case your cell phone is damaged or loses power.
Use your Sprint or Nextel camera phone to take digital pictures or
video of your property and valuables before the storm hits. Upload the
images to your personal pictures inbox on www.sprint.com
and you have #8220;before#8221; pictures in the event of any storm damage.
Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy traffic during emergency
events, so remember to send a text message or use Nextel Direct
Connect®. Nextel Direct Connect service is the undisputed leader in
push-to-talk services, used by first responders across the country for
its consistent ability to remain fully operational over any other
wireless network, even during crisis events.
Sprint also has a strong track record of providing critical
communications and personnel to assist first responders with relief
efforts. Sprint#8217;s network and business continuity personnel, and the Sprint
Emergency Response Team (ERT) are staging additional Cell Sites on
Wheels (COWs) and Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS) for possible
COWs are mobile cell sites that can be deployed in impacted areas to
restore service quickly. This equipment provides backup to the networks
in the event of power outages or other damage that could result after a
hurricane. Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS), the design of
which is proprietary to Sprint, are managed by the Sprint ERT and help
facilitate communications among disaster relief and emergency response
For more details about Sprint hurricane preparation efforts, retail
store closures, or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major
storm, visit www.sprint.com/hurricaneinformation.
Customers can also follow updates via Twitter at www.twitter.com/sprintnews
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 almost 49 million customers at the end of
the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services;
instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a
global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company#8217;s customer-focused strategy
has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction
scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806