In 125 markets measured in the first half of 2015, Sprint has been awarded a total of 180 first place (outright or shared) RootScore® Awards for overall, reliability, speed, data, call, or text network performance.1 This is significant considering that for the first half of 2014 Sprint had achieved just 27 award wins in these same 125 markets. In Kansas City, home to Sprint’s headquarters, RootMetrics ranked the network No. 1 in a tie for overall performance. A few days later, Sprint received a shared No. 1 ranking for overall network performance in Indianapolis.
A few years ago Sprint battled negative perceptions during a “pardon our dust” period as it rebuilt, optimized and invested in its network. Some retail and business customers fled to other wireless carriers, but thousands have eagerly returned, and subscriber numbers are on the upswing.
One business is Rocco Fiore & Sons, a landscape architecture company in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago.
In late June of 2013, Sprint shut down its outdated iDEN network, the technology band that RoccoFiore’s 150 or so employees had been using with their push-to-talk cell phones. This void left an opening for a rival carrier to seize the account from Sprint.
“We immediately had network and account issues with the new carrier,” said Adam Clark, Rocco Fiore IT director since 2005. “It was rocky road. Our employees were used to the mobile radio feature with the Sprint push-to-talk phones. This put us in a jam, yet we still had to serve our customers with the same efficiency they were used.”
Sprint Solutions Engineer Brian Handler and Account Manager Mike Litscher didn’t give up on Rocco Fiore and continued talks with Clark. In 2013, with network improvement plans underway, both were confident they could regain the Rocco Fiore account.
“Our company and CEO stepped up with sorely needed network improvements and other worthwhile investments in Chicago,” Handler says. “Mike and I knew we now had the tools, improved technology and the belief to make a strong pitch to Adam. We were suddenly on an equal – no, better – playing field that our competitors.”
A series of comprehensive field tests with smart phones were done in the North Shore area. Calls, data exchange and texting trials were exhaustively tested. When the contract with the competitor ended, Clark was convinced it was time to re-sign with Sprint. Included in the Rocco Fiore agreement are 140 smart phones.
“Sprint bends over backwards to help,” Clark says. “Troubleshooting is easy, and they address problems quickly. I’m glad its network is performing so well because for Rocco Fiore to win, we have to communicate wirelessly quickly and effectively in the office and with managers and field employees.”
This spring Sprint made a huge investment in America’s third largest city with Sprint® for Chicago. The program will bring more than 300 new jobs to neighborhoods throughout Chicago by the end of 2015 and includes the installation of hundreds of new network cell sites and an expected investment of $45 million in its network infrastructure by the end of 2016.
A few weeks after launching Sprint for Chicago, CEO Marcelo Claure hired Tracy Nolan as president and general manager for the company in Illinois and Wisconsin. The newly created position enables Sprint to devote more resources to and focus on key cities in the Midwest, including Chicago and Milwaukee. Nolan oversees sales strategy, network oversight, customer service, marketing communications and general operations in the area.
“We have what we need to succeed, as well as ensuring that the network and purchasing experience is the best it can possibly be,” Nolan says. “Our consumers and business customers in Illinois and Chicago will have so many new options of where and how they can purchase new Sprint devices and get them serviced. The time is now for Sprint to win in Chicago.”
1 Rankings based on 125 RootMetrics (January 1 – June 30, 2015) RootScore Reports for mobile performance as tested on best available plans and devices on four mobile networks across all available network types. Your experiences may vary. The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of Sprint. Visit www.rootmetrics.com for more details.