November 09, 2009

Sprint Nextel invested $340 million in Network Enhancements in Coastal Communities

Millions of Customers and First Responders Rely on Nextel Direct Connect®

MOBILE, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 9, 2009-- Sprint (NYSE: S) today said it is preparing for the potential impact of Tropical Storm Ida threatening to make landfall along the Gulf Coast areas of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana on Tuesday morning. As it does for every impending tropical storm or hurricane, Sprint is staging backup generators and personnel in strategic locations along the Gulf Coast 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 networks, 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 backup power.

As a standard practice, Sprint has permanent generators at all of its wireless and wireline switches, the network components where data and calls are routed to their final destination. In addition, permanent generators are installed at all of the company’s network Points of Presence (POP), the facilities where traffic enters and leaves the company’s global IP network, which facilitates dedicated data services for Sprint’s corporate and government customers as well as other critical communications. These backup generators have automatic cutover switches to immediately neutralize any loss of commercial power.

Sprint also has a strong track record of providing critical communications and personnel to assist first responders with relief efforts. Sprint’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 deployment.

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 agencies.

Customers can take proactive steps before the storm hits. Sprint offers the following consumer tips to prepare for a possible landfall:

  • 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 traffic during emergency events, so remember to use Nextel Direct Connect® or send a text message.

For more information about Sprint Nextel hurricane preparation efforts, or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major storm, visit:


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 48 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2009 and the first and only 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit

Source: Sprint

Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806
Kristin Wallace, 404-649-1625