In 2007, Sprint added thousands of cell sites and enhancements to its national wireless networks, continued to be an industry leader in deploying EV-DO Revision A technology and continued to invest in its wireline IP assets. During the 2006 and 2007 time period, Sprint invested more than $13 billion to enhance its networks. Across the country, thousands of cities received the benefit of this major investment.
Sprint was also at the forefront of innovation as it demonstrated next-generation mobile WiMAX technology. Sprint has established a WiMAX ecosystem of partner agreements. Soft launch is currently under way in Chicago, Washington DC and Baltimore. For more information, visit www.xohm.com.
The following is a summary of major network achievements from Sprint in 2007:
Wireless Networks Coverage and Capacity Improvements
By the end of 2007, Sprint expects to have added more than 4,000 cell sites to the Nationwide Sprint Network and Nextel National Network. Both networks are currently performing at their best-ever levels, which means fewer blocked or dropped calls, translating to better connections for customers.
Current and prospective customers can view coverage maps using the Sprint Coverage Tool, which is available at www.sprint.com/coverage and at self-service touch-screen kiosks at many Sprint Nextel retail stores. The tool equips customers with knowledge about network coverage in the areas where they live, work and play, and helps them make informed decisions regarding services from Sprint. By entering an address or ZIP code, customers can check the availability of wireless coverage, recently added cell sites and the network signal strength on the Nextel National Network, Nationwide Sprint Network or Sprint Mobile Broadband Network.
In select markets (Denver, Indianapolis and Nashville), Sprint deployed AIRAVE - the first commercially available femtocell, a compact IP-based base station that works with any Sprint (CDMA) phone and a broadband Internet connection to provide enhanced in-home wireless coverage plus unlimited calling. With AIRAVE, Sprint is delivering enhanced in-home coverage that’s simple to access and low in cost. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/airave.
Extensive Mobile Broadband Coverage
The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network, the fastest and largest national mobile broadband network available*, reaches more than 230 million people (inclusive of data roaming) across the country and the vast majority of the network has been upgraded to an even faster version of EV-DO (Evolution - Data Optimized) technology - Revision A.
Sprint Mobile Broadband is perfect for road warriors. Customers using handheld devices and connection cards can enjoy broadband speed when downloading large files, accessing high-speed data applications and location-based services. Those with select Power Vision phones can browse the Web, access e-mail, share pictures, use navigation tools, wirelessly download music, listen to commercial-free radio and watch live TV and full-length movies.
Sprint offers one of the broadest portfolios of devices to choose from, including PCMCIA cards, express cards, USB devices, compatible mobile broadband routers and select devices such as laptops and handheld computer tablets with embedded connectivity. Using select devices customers can enjoy location-based services to find a nearby restaurant, gas station, bank and other points of interest without having to input their current location. For more information on coverage, plans and devices, visit www.sprint.com/mobilebroadband.
Nextel National Network
In 2007, Sprint also continued to invest in its Nextel National Network (iDEN), platform for the Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk feature used by nearly 20 million customers (the largest push-to-talk community in the world), including those with Boost, Nextel and PowerSource phones. Nextel Direct Connect lets customers connect one-to-one or with groups with the push of a button. During the 2006 to 2007 time period, Nextel Direct Connect subscribers completed more than 200 billion walkie-talkie connections on the Nextel National Network.
Nextel Direct Connect is a perfect solution for families and friends who need to stay connected and for businesses who need to communicate instantly to get work done. The instant connection capabilities of Nextel Direct Connect also make it a valued public safety tool among first responders. Nextel Direct Connect today reaches not only across the nation, but also to Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Canada.
Sprint expects to make Nextel Direct Connect available on new Sprint (CDMA) phones in 2008. The new service will be interoperable with the existing iDEN-based service, further expanding the customer benefits of Nextel Direct Connect with an even larger potential user community.
IP Platform Momentum
Sprint continued its commitment in 2007 to its Tier 1 Global IP network, Next-Generation Voice Network (NGVN) and wireless-wireline converged services (i.e., enabling end users to access applications across wireless and wireline). Sprint initiatives to move to an all-IP platform are gaining momentum. Wireline IP revenue continues to grow significantly with an increase of 43 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2007 and represents over 25 percent of total wireline revenue.
In 2007, Sprint now supports more of its customer locations on IP-based WAN solutions than on legacy data services, such as frame relay and ATM. Additionally, Sprint continued to offer a full portfolio of business-enabling access solutions, including enhancements to MPLS VPN and Sprint Provided Ethernet Access, an alternative solution to help businesses break their reliance on ILEC-provided access.
Sprint has global reach through its powerful IP and MPLS platform. And in 2007, Sprint increased its global capabilities including facility expansion and partnerships with Orange Business Services and NTT Communications Corporation. During the 2006 and 2007 time period, Sprint expects to have invested approximately $1.4 billion in its wireline assets.
Sprint diligently works to ensure its network can meet growing service and capacity needs in a cost-effective manner which is why it was among the first carriers to deploy the Cisco CRS-1 routers. Sprint provided insight to the CRS-1 development process and then participated in the market introduction activities in 2004, when it was also used to conduct the first 40G trial with live production traffic. These continued efforts help Sprint scale its flexible IP core network to address customer demands as IP increasingly becomes the basis of many communications services.
The company’s wholesale cable VoIP offering will serve cable companies that cover 30 million cable households-passed by year end. Of this base, cable companies served by Sprint provide VoIP services to more than 3 million cable telephony subscribers - more than double the number from a year ago. Sprint expects continued impressive growth in this area.
"Our Sprint teams are dedicated to ensuring our wireless and IP networks are top notch, and we understand the kind of commitment necessary to achieve our goals," said Kathy Walker, chief network officer, summarizing the 2007 network achievements.
* Fastest claim based on total network size (sq. miles) multiplied by network upload/download speed capability. User’s speed experience may vary. Largest claim based on total network size (sq. miles). Coverage not available everywhere. See sprint.com/coverage for details.
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 robust wireless networks serving about 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding the business outlook and performance, new products and services, future network capabilities and performance, expected investments, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words "estimate," "project," "forecast," "intend," "expect," "believe," "target," "providing guidance" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, competitive conditions and market acceptance of Sprint Nextel’s products and services; customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; pricing, development, deployment and operating costs; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment.
Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006.
Sprint Media Contacts: Network Improvements Jackie Bostick, 913-794-3045 Jackie.email@example.com or WiMAX Deployment John Polivka, 972-405-5139 firstname.lastname@example.org or IP Convergence Stephanie Greenwood, 913-794-3658 email@example.com