Carrier to launch more PLAN-compatible mobile phones in 2011 and make all new devices PLAN capable by the end of the year
NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE), May 10, 2011 – Today, Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings) president of Network Operations and Wholesale Steve Elfman, joined Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate in committing to the deployment of a nationwide Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN) by the end of 2011.
PLAN or Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) is a powerful public safety tool that allows emergency management officials to rapidly disseminate warnings and safety information via text alerts to wireless phones based on their specified locations.
“As the first national wireless to carrier to pilot the PLAN program, Sprint is proud to be part of an event that shows the commitment and coordination among the wireless industry, the FCC and FEMA to create an emergency alert system that effectively serves wireless users nationwide,” said Elfman. “We’ve come to rely on mobile phones more and more in the years since the tragic events of Sept. 11, and creating an emergency alert system for these devices has the potential to save lives during future disasters.”
Sprint is the first U.S. carrier to test the PLAN system
In the fall of 2010, Sprint became the first national wireless carrier to successfully test and trial PLAN with the California Emergency Management Agency and the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.
The trial, which took place between October 2010 and late November 2010, tested the PLAN technology across urban, suburban and rural areas; included the involvement of law enforcement agencies, local jurisdictions and other regional partners; and assessed factors related to messaging delivery, length and recipient location.
Sprint currently has two mobile phones available that are PLAN compatible – the Sanyo Innuendo™ by Kyocera and the Sanyo Vero™ by Kyocera – and plans to launch more PLAN-capable mobile devices later this year, and include PLAN technology in all new Sprint phones by the end of 2011.
The PLAN technology on Sprint’s network is enabled by Alcatel-Lucent’s Broadcast Message Center (BMC), which serves as the secure interface between PLAN and Sprint’s network to meet the mission-critical needs of delivering emergency alert messages. BMC receives the PLAN alerts from state and federal agencies and broadcasts them to cell sites serving mobile customers within a targeted geographic area.
Sprint’s commitment to supporting the public’s safety
Sprint brings a wealth of experience in public safety and crisis communications to the PLAN program, including:
- Providing immediate wireless recovery, infrastructure and devices to aid with the relief efforts following the April 2011 storms and tornadoes that ravaged the southern United States, the 2011 earthquake in Japan, and the 2010 earthquake in the Republic of Haiti;
- Deploying portable generators and increasing network capacity along key highways and evacuation routes in southern California during the 2009 Station Fire;
- Enhancing network capacity and coverage in around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to support residents, visitors and law enforcement officials at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration;
- Hardening the networks and working closely with local public safety agencies in hurricane-prone areas so that critical communications are available to Sprint customers before, during and after a storm.
To learn more about Sprint’s public safety solutions, visit www.sprint.com/slg and www.sprint.com/ert. To learn more about PLAN and download a fact sheet, visit http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/cmas.html.
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 served more than 51 million customers at the end of 1Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806