March 27, 2009

Preparations Include Added Capacity to Local Networks, Staging Equipment and Supplying Devices to Local Public Safety Agencies


FARGO, N.D.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 27, 2009-- As residents in and around the Red River Valley continue to prepare for flooding, Sprint (NYSE: S) has taken strategic steps to manage potential service impacts and equip local public safety officials with interoperable wireless resources for their restoration and recovery needs.

Sprint’s preparations include:

  • Enhancing capacity on its Nationwide Sprint Network by 26 percent and on its Nextel National Network by 48 percent in Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn.;
  • Staging backup generators in key locations near the Red River and identifying additional generators in its Minneapolis facilities for possible deployment;
  • In areas most susceptible to flood damage, Sprint is raising the elevation level of its network properties; and
  • Providing the Moorhead (Minn.) Police Department and Bloomington (Minn.) Fire Department with Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards and Nextel Direct Connect® handsets for interoperable communications.

“Sprint networks in the Red River Valley area were built following the 1997 Red River flood and constructed outside of the 100-year flood plain, and our aggressive preparations will help mitigate any impacts to our network and the wireless experience of our customers, included first responders and public safety organizations,” said Brian Chase, manager of Sprint network field services in the Upper Plains.

Additionally, Sprint retail stores in Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D. will remain open with regular operating hours to service customers in need of wireless devices and accessories. These stores are located at 4501 15th Avenue SW, Suite 107, Fargo, N.D., 701-271-8255 and 2855 10th Avenue North, Suite 600, Grand Forks, N.D., 701-610-9701.

Customers also can take proactive steps in times of a flood. Sprint offers the following consumer tips to prepare for a possible flood event:

  • Keep your wireless phone and backup batteries charged, but be aware that an interruption of wireline and commercial power could affect wireless calls.
  • If possible, get extra batteries and charge them.
  • In times of commercial power outages, a car adapter for your wireless phone should enable you to recharge the battery.
  • Keep phones and necessary accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage.
  • Load family and emergency numbers into your wireless phone.
  • Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy voice traffic during emergency events, so try sending a text message rather than making a call.

“The resources that Sprint’s Emergency Response Team provides in terms of resilient wireless communications between our incident management team on-the-scene and the emergency operations and command center are crucial in times of disaster,” said Ulie Seal of the Bloomington (Minn.) Fire Department. “Instant and reliable connections during an emergency situation are key to any successful public safety agency.”

The Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) is prepared to assist first responders, enterprise organizations and relief agencies with communication devices including Nextel Direct Connect® handsets with Direct Connect® and Direct Talksm and additional SatCOLTS. Direct Talksm enabled handsets can communicate off-network via push-to-talk with other Direct Talksm-capable handsets completely independent of any wireless network. Another critical resource Sprint provides public sector and first responder teams is the Sprint ERT’s Go-Kit™. These kits provide business and first responders immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully-charged cell phones and wireless Broadband cards. These devices have a dedicated hotline for instant activation as needed.

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


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 49 million customers at the end of the fourth 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

*“Dependable” based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G data connection success, session reliability and signal strength for the top 50 most populous markets from June 2008 to November 2008.

Source: Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806