January 16, 2009

Wireless services from Sprint get fans into the game-day action

Customers enjoy high-performing networks, including America’s most dependable 3G network

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 16, 2009--Sprint (NYSE: S), the official wireless telecommunications service sponsor of the National Football League (NFL), has its game face on for Super Bowl XLIII, Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla. Sprint’s capital deployments to enhance its wireless networks included more than $49 million throughout Florida in 2008, including more than $11 million in the greater Tampa area. The network improvements help ensure coverage, capacity and network dependability during Super Bowl week for Sprint customers and the NFL at Raymond James Stadium, throughout Tampa and along Interstate 4 up to Orlando.

"We’re looking forward to our own game-day performance," said Richard Blanc, regional vice president of network for Sprint. "Super Bowl preparations are a major undertaking and our networks are ready. We’ve enhanced coverage in the downtown area, around Raymond James Stadium, at the Super Bowl Media Center located at the Tampa Convention Center, at hotels and other area landmarks, and we’ll be closely monitoring our networks to ensure customers have the best possible experience."

More than 70,000 fans are expected to attend Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and millions of viewers are expected to tune in to The Big Game with family and friends.

Sprint has fortified its wireless and wireline networks to accommodate the expected increase in voice and data traffic. Network enhancements include:

  • 18 new cell sites in the Tampa area to enhance coverage in and around the stadium.
  • Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in the stadium to enhance Sprint’s wireless coverage and capacity and to enhance 3G data coverage and capacity for high-speed mobile broadband use.
  • In-building coverage enhancements at area hotels.
  • Three Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) deployed near the stadium for additional coverage.
  • One COW deployed in downtown Tampa, enhancing coverage for area events.
  • Optimized and extended the NFL’s existing nationwide Sprint Global MPLS enterprise network into Tampa for the Super Bowl.
  • Implemented Sprint Dedicated Internet service to support the secure access and critical communication needs of the teams as they prepare for this event.

"Network dependability is critical and Sprint is instrumental to the success of Super Bowl XLIII," said Dave Port, vice president of information technology for the NFL. "Fans, NFL personnel and members of the media all benefit from Sprint’s preparation, expertise and network enhancements."

Since 2006, Sprint has invested more than $15 billion in capital largely to enhance its networks. Across the country, thousands of cities received the benefit of this major investment. Sprint’s wireless networks are performing at their best-ever levels, and independent third-party reports confirm Sprint’s networks are performing very well relative to the competition’s.

In addition to operating two high-performing wireless networks, Sprint operates America’s most dependable 3G network*, providing customers access to the mobile Web, NFL Mobile Live, e-mail and various social networking sites - wirelessly and on the go. Gizmodo, a well-respected technology blog with more than 80 million page views a month in traffic, recently announced that consistent testing of Sprint’s 3G network in eight cities selected by the blog showed Sprint unequivocally beating both AT&T and Verizon in download performance speeds.

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 retail stores.

Related Links:

    Press release dated Dec. 18, 2008: "Sprint 3G Data Service Speeds Top AT&T and Verizon in Download Performance Test"
  • Press release dated Oct. 30, 2008: "Sprint to Rejuvenate Nextel National Network"

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

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 51 million customers at the end of the third 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 www.sprint.com.

Dave Mellin, 720-840-4788
Kristin Wallace, 404-649-1625

Source: Sprint