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Sprint and Samsung Telecommunications America Launch America's First GPS-enabled Wireless Phone
Posted: 02-Oct-2001 [Source: Sprint press release]

[The Sprint PCS SPH-N300 by Samsung is designed to support location-based and E911 services of the future.]

Dallas, Tex., and Kansas City, Mo. -- Sprint (NYSE: FON/PCS), which operates the largest all-digital, all-PCS nationwide network, and Samsung Telecommunications America (STA) have launched the SPH-N300, America's first GPS-enabled wireless phone. The Sprint PCS SPH-N300 by Samsung is designed to support future location-based and E911 emergency services, as they become available on the Sprint PCS nationwide network but works today nationwide as a Sprint PCS Phone. Sprint PCS is the first and only wireless carrier to meet the Federal Communication Commission's deadline of selling a GPS-enabled handset by October 1, 2001. This deadline is part of the FCC Phase II Mandate requiring all wireless carriers to more precisely locate 911 callers using a "handset solution" or a "network solution." The Sprint PCS SPH-N300 by Samsung will dial 911 today, but the GPS-enabled, location functionality is not currently available. This functionality will roll out in conjunction with local public safety agencies on a market-by-market basis.

In the future, the GPS technology will also enable enhanced location-based services that could include applications such as driving directions, traffic services, and locating and planning for local entertainment. Location-based services -- with the exception of E911 services -- will be permission-based, meaning Sprint PCS customers will need to "opt-in" the services they wish to have delivered to the phone. Sprint PCS customers will be able to disable the GPS, location-based commercial services through the menu on the SPH-N300. Customers will not be able to disable the E911 emergency services.

"The launch of the SPH-N300 makes Sprint PCS the first and only carrier to meet the FCC handset deadline today and puts us at a clear advantage for offering GPS-enhanced services in the future," said John Garcia, senior vice president of sales and distribution for Sprint PCS. "In addition to GPS-technology, the Sprint PCS SPH-N300 packs all the top features our customers want today into a stylish, affordable phone making America's first GPS-enabled wireless phone, an immediate great buy."

"In keeping with the long line of wireless firsts introduced by Samsung Telecommunications America, we are the first and only manufacturer to deliver a GPS-enabled handset in the U.S.," said Peter Skarzynski, senior vice president of wireless sales and marketing, STA. "Samsung Telecommunications America continues to set the 'Samsung standard' and prove it is a leader in the trend toward convergence technology by bringing to market a series of industry firsts, including, America's first Palm Powered phone, handsets featuring voice-activated dialing, handsets with integrated MP3 capabilities and handsets with bi-lingual capabilities."

Measuring a mere 4.5"H x 1.9" W x 0.9"D, and weighing 4.1 ounces with a standard battery, the SPH-N300 is compact and modern, yet full of today's hottest features. Its compact flip style and metallic blue exterior gives consumers a sleek tool for staying connected and organized with its advanced voice and data capabilities. The SPH-N300 offers customers the Openwave 4.1 Browser, for quick and easy access to the Wireless Web; Personal Information Management (PIM) features including calendar with scheduler and alarms, "to-do" list, calculator, and countdown feature; enhanced phone book that stores up to 199 numbers; 23 new ringers; and a customizable display. The SPH-N300 is available for $149.99 at Sprint Stores and at sprintpcs.com.

Feature highlights of the dual-band Sprint PCS Phone SPH-N300 by Samsung include:

Personalization

23 new ringers including a mix of melodic and "traditional" ringers, vibrate ringer, and silent ringer. Multi-lingual (English/Spanish) display capabilities Customizable banner greeting Productivity PIM functionality (Personal Information Manager) including calendar with scheduler and alarms, "to-do" list, calculator, and countdown feature. Enhanced phone book stores up to 199 numbers 10 voice activated dialing numbers Tegic T-9 predictive text entry for ease of messaging and wireless email with Sprint PCS' suite of wireless messaging services Voice-activated dialing 2 built-in games Battery life 3.8 hours talk or 192 hours standby in digital mode Wireless Data Tools Wireless circuit switched data and fax capabilities Mini-Browser - new Openwave 4.1 WAP-compliant for Email and Internet Access. With access to The Sprint PCS Wireless Web, you can send and receive e-mails and instant messages, buy movie and concert tickets, and check your stocks, weather, flight schedule or the latest news to find out if your favorite sports team won.

The FCC Phase II Mandate requires all wireless carriers, within six months of a request from a public safety answering point, be able to locate 67 percent of 911 callers within 50 meters using a "handset solution" or 100 meters using a "network solution." Sprint PCS has chosen a handset-based GPS solution to fulfill the requirements. This solution will enable Sprint PCS to provide the most accurate location information available to emergency dispatchers.

With the launch of the SPH-N300, Sprint PCS is meeting the Commission's October 1, 2001 deadline to begin selling GPS-enabled handsets and expects to convert all new handsets to GPS technology by the end of 2002. Despite a steadfast commitment, factors beyond Sprint PCS' control have delayed the installation of the network infrastructure to support the GPS-enabled services in all Sprint PCS markets. Phase II services will be deployed in conjunction with public safety requests on a market-by-market basis.

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