July 27, 2009
Award given to Sprint for world’s first commercial launch of femtocell, allowing customers to get enhanced wireless coverage at home

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 27, 2009-- Sprint (NYSE:S) announced today it has received a Femtocell Industry Award for its August 2008 launch of the world’s first commercially available femtocell, AIRAVE by Samsung. AIRAVE acts like a mini cell tower that works with any Sprint phone and a broadband Internet connection to provide enhanced in-home wireless coverage.1 Given by the Femto Forum, a global organization founded in 2007 to promote femtocell deployment worldwide, the Femtocell Industry Awards recognize outstanding achievement within, and contributions to, the femtocell industry.

“Customers are using their wireless phones at home more than ever, and with AIRAVE, Sprint has made it even more convenient for customers to rely on their Sprint phone as their only phone,” said Mathew Oommen, vice president of device and technology development for Sprint. “We’re proud to have received the Femto Forum Award, which represents global recognition of Sprint’s leadership in providing our customers with a femtocell solution for enhanced wireless coverage in their home or office.”

“The Femtocell Industry Awards judges were extremely impressed by the high quality and number of award submissions, reflecting the health and innovation of the femtocell industry,” said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum. “When Sprint deployed the first femtocell service in 2008, it was a bold statement to the industry that the technology had moved beyond theory and was now delivering improved mobile services out in the real world. The Commercial Launch by a Large Carrier Award recognizes Sprint’s pioneering achievement in this exciting new market.”

Sprint AIRAVE acts like a mini cell tower by creating a licensed spectrum CDMA network signal within the customer’s home or small office, providing enhanced wireless coverage up to 5,000 square feet. With AIRAVE, Sprint customers can:

  • Take advantage of enhanced coverage without having to purchase a new phone.
  • Use their existing Sprint phone, with the option to upgrade to the latest phones at any time. All Sprint phones are compatible with the AIRAVE.
  • Easily install the device using their existing broadband Internet connection and AC power outlet. The AIRAVE is ready to use straight out of the box, with no configuration changes required.
  • Take their call with them. Calls initiated on the AIRAVE will transfer automatically to the Nationwide Sprint Network when leaving the AIRAVE coverage area.
  • Talk all they want when subscribed to the optional unlimited AIRAVE calling plan. With the plan, unlimited incoming and outgoing calls and nationwide long distance are included when using the AIRAVE.

The technology behind AIRAVE has received several additional awards, including the 2008 PC World 25 Most Innovative Products Award, Best of Innovations at CES 2008, Emerging Technologies Award – 1st Place: Network Infrastructure Category at CTIA 2008, and Best of CTIA 2007 “Best Cell Phone Accessory” Award from LAPTOP Magazine.

Sprint customers can purchase AIRAVE at Sprint stores across the country for $99.99 (excluding taxes). Customers are required to subscribe to the AIRAVE enhanced coverage plan for just $4.99 per month in addition to the customer’s regular wireless voice plan. Customers who do not have one of Sprint’s unlimited voice plans, such as Simply Everything, can get unlimited in-home calling by subscribing to the optional AIRAVE Unlimited Voice plan for an additional $10 per month for individuals or $20 per month for families. For more information, customers can visit www.sprint.com/airave.

About the Femto Forum awards

The Femto Forum Femtocell Industry Awards recognize outstanding achievement within, and contributions to, femtocell technology.

Entries were invited from everyone involved in femtocell development and operation, from organizations of all sizes, representing all continents and whether members of Femto Forum or otherwise.

The judging process was independent of the Femto Forum, the panel comprising well-known industry figures selected for their experience and impartiality and chaired by Prof. William Webb, head of R&D for UK regulator Ofcom.

The inaugural award ceremony took place at a gala dinner at the Femtocell World Summit in London on June 24.

A full list of winners & judges can be found at: http://www.femtoforum.org/femto/aboutforum.php?id=96

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 49 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2009; 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.

About the Femto Forum

Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections.

The Femto Forum (www.femtoforum.org) was set up in 2007 to promote the wide-scale adoption of femtocells. It currently comprises 114 of the world’s leading communication companies, including carriers, telecoms hardware and software vendors, and innovative start-ups.

The Forum supports and drives the adoption of industry wide standards and common architectures to enable the widespread adoption and deployment of femtocells by operators around the world. It directs and implements a multifaceted marketing campaign; raising the profile, driving technology development and deployment and promoting the potential of femto solutions among industry stakeholders, journalists, analysts, regulators, special interest groups, standards bodies and consumers.

The Femtocell Industry Awards recognize outstanding achievement within, and contributions to, the femtocell industry.

All trademarks are property of their respective owners.

1 Not compatible with plans or devices operating only on the Nextel Nationwide Network.

Source: Sprint

Emmy Anderson, 913-707-0618