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Sprint Nextel Enhances Communications At FirstEnergy


Cost-effective voice, data capabilities span large, diverse geographic area

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — 10/19/2006 - Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) continues to demonstrate its leadership in the utilities marketplace by delivering fully integrated digital wireless communications solutions to FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Under this new contract, FirstEnergy will use Sprint voice services, including Nextel Direct Connect, as it moves from its current private radio network to the Nextel National Network. With the new system, FirstEnergy personnel will be able to carry just one device for all voice and data communications rather than separate pagers, cell phones and radios. These solutions also have the potential to allow FirstEnergy to address its field force wireless enablement needs and remote automation of fixed assets including advanced metering and telemetry.

“With customized wireless offerings for both public and private utilities, Sprint delivers wireless voice and data products and services that address their needs for critical communications, wireless workforce enablement and remote automation of fixed infrastructure,” said Leon Frazier, vice president of public sector and enterprise for Sprint. “Our relationship with FirstEnergy further strengthens our commitment to utilities by offering them a wide variety of solutions that can help increase efficiency and streamline operations.”

Utilities across the country are exploring new ways of using technology to manage their critical communication infrastructures and provide field crews with updated information. In addition to streamlining operations and improving efficiencies, utility companies are implementing mobile technologies to help create a safer work environment—especially during emergency situations.

“For our energy delivery operations, Sprint Nextel meets our wireless needs by providing utility-grade communications in a cost-effective manner,” says Charles E. Jones, senior vice president, Energy Delivery & Customer Service, for FirstEnergy. “The functionality of Nextel Direct Connect will help us facilitate instant communications between our employees across our Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey service areas.”

The Nextel National Network was selected for primary voice and dispatch service across six FirstEnergy service territories because it was more cost-effective to utilize the Nextel Direct Connect service rather than update the company’s multiple land mobile radio (LMR) systems. Along with outdoor coverage for the FirstEnergy service territories, the Sprint Custom Network Solutions (CNS) team also will provide in-building solutions bringing additional network coverage for numerous company facilities, including dispatch sites, data centers and offices.

“The CNS team designs and deploys customized wireless networks that bring the power, productivity and efficiency of Sprint PCS and Nextel voice and data communications to every corner of a customer’s facility”, says Darlene Braunschweig, vice president of CNS for Sprint. “The FirstEnergy solution is a major milestone for Sprint and it shows that utilities now have cost-effective options when it comes to replacing their private radio systems with Sprint voice and data solutions.”

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit


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