August 19, 2008
Twin Cities Reap Benefits of Sprint’s $2 Million Network Upgrades; Company Stands Ready for Any Scenario with Top-Notch Emergency Response Team

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 19, 2008--Be it politicians, delegates or media members, visitors to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., next month should expect crystal-clear coverage thanks to Sprint’s (NYSE:S) $2 million network upgrades, including two new cell sites in the Xcel Energy Center, home of the convention.

From St. Paul to Bloomington to downtown Minneapolis, the Twin Cities are awash in expanded capacity, in-building solutions and macro sites designed to give visitors and residents uninterrupted, clear voice coverage and a super-fast mobile broadband experience.

"We’ve been planning for this (convention) since it was announced that St. Paul was the host," said Sprint’s Brian Chase, Minnesota’s area manager for engineering and field operations. "Thousands of people will be flooding the area in early September and we’ve been working diligently to make this convention a seamless and memorable telecommunications experience."

Part of that experience will come from the two new sites added directly to the Xcel Center. One CDMA site and one iDEN site were added to the arena to accommodate the increased volume during the GOP’s 39th nominating convention. New sites and in-building solutions were also added to:

  • More than 15 area Twin City hotels
  • Roy Wilkins Auditorium at the St. Paul River Centre
  • Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Minnesota Science Museum
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Lindbergh Terminal

"The best part about these additions is that they’re permanent," Chase said. "The residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul will be able to enjoy these enhancements for years to come."


Sprint is not just prepared for the three-day convention; it’s prepared for any unfortunate emergencies that might crop up. The company’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) will deploy a Satellite Cellsite on Light Truck (SATCOLT) to stand by in case of weather-related power outages or increased call volume from other unforeseen disasters.

The SATCOLT is designed to give users a mobile cell tower experience while other towers or sites are repaired or at capacity.

Sprint’s Emergency Response Team, along with other coordinating agencies for the event, will outfit the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC), a 24-hour communications hub and the brainchild of the United States Secret Service. In addition to the major telecom carriers, the MACC is manned by members of law enforcement, public safety and public utilities as a centralized way to circulate vital security information in a timely manner.

"It’s important to be the liaison if anyone needs assistance," said Tanya Lin, Sprint’s manager of ERT Operations. "We’ve participated in the MACC since the 2004 conventions."

Sprint’s ERT will have five staff members and 500 handsets ready in case of emergencies.

"ERT personnel are ready and able to step in in case an unfortunate incident occurs," said Lin.


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 52 million customers at the end of the second 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

Candace Johnson, 317-571-2155

SOURCE: Sprint