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Sprint Launches Nationwide Two-Way Walkie-Talkie Style Service
Posted: 17-Nov-2003 [Source: Sprint PCS]

[Sprint PCS launches walkie-talkie style service called PCS Ready Link(SM) using Sanyo Ready Phones, the RL2000 and the RL2500. Customers can select a plan with only unlimited PCS Ready Link service for a flat fee of $15 per month. ]

Overland Park, KS -- Today, Sprint announced the availability of a new nationwide walkie-talkie style service called PCS Ready Link(SM) that gives customers a quick, convenient way to communicate one-on-one or to groups of people with the simple push of a button. Ideal for short "get in, get out" conversations, PCS Ready Link is an efficient and cost-effective way to quickly access co-workers, clients, suppliers, family and friends anywhere on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network. The new service makes its debut on two new PCS Vision(SM) Ready Link Phones by Sanyo, including a ruggedized version and a clamshell design.

"Sprint is focused on being a leader and innovator of advanced products and services that are customer-friendly, easy to use and work the same nationwide," said Len Lauer, president and chief operating officer of Sprint Corp. "PCS Ready Link is designed to meet the needs of customers who want a quick, cost-effective way to share information, check status and alert others. The new walkie-talkie style service complements a comprehensive suite of Sprint wireless products and services that help our customers stay connected, productive, informed and entertained anywhere on the most advanced and complete wireless network in the country."

Bringing Innovation to the Two-Way Radio Market

An established leader in handset and wireless services innovation, Sprint has partnered with Sanyo to once again raise the bar in handset design and usability. Customers who want to take advantage of PCS Ready Link will be able to choose from two new full-color screen handsets by Sanyo, both with built-in speakerphones and full PCS Vision capabilities including the ability to browse the Internet, access to downloadable games, ringers, screensavers and other Java-based applications, and a full suite of messaging services including access to personal and corporate e-mail via PCS Business Connection. The PCS Vision Ready Link Phone RL2000 by Sanyo is dual-mode with a blue and black ruggedized, bar-style design to minimize wear and tear from heavy use. The PCS Vision Ready Link Phone RL2500 by Sanyo is dual-mode/tri-mode with a silver clamshell flip design.

Both phones have a suggested retail price of $299.99 with special rebate offers of up to $150 depending on the service agreement. Sprint expects to offer a third handset that combines the new PCS Ready Link service with enhanced picture capabilities later this quarter.

Simplifying the Customer Experience with Convenient, Easy-To-Use Features

PCS Ready Link also offers several customer-friendly and easy-to-use calling features. For example, PCS Ready Link customers use the same phone number for voice and PCS Ready Link calls, which means users have only one number to remember for both types of calls. Additionally, customers can easily manage their PCS Ready Link personal directories and group lists directly from their handsets or via the Web at www.readylink.sprintpcs.com. Contact lists created by users from the Web-based tool are updated over the air to the user's phone. Company administrators also have the ability to maintain a separate company directory on their employees' handsets. Administrators can update their company directories and group lists and push changes to the phones of their employees via a Web-based administration portal.

Keeping Customers Connected with Expansive Nationwide Coverage

Customers can use PCS Ready Link to make one-to-one or group calls (up to five people) anywhere on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network, which covers more than 240 million people. When not on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network, PCS Ready Link customers can still make regular voice calls on their PCS Ready Link Phone in areas where Sprint has analog roaming agreements in place. Sprint customers with PCS Free & Clear America service plans can take advantage of this expanded calling area and make voice calls in more places than any other carrier without incurring additional roaming charges.

"While many of our business customers have been asking for a two-way radio communication service to complement their existing wireless voice services, we also believe PCS Ready Link will appeal to consumers," said Lauer. "For businesses, PCS Ready Link provides another tool to enhance productivity for mobile workers. For consumers, it's a form of verbal instant messaging for families and friends to stay connected. Customers in both segments seeking a wireless service with two-way radio functionality now have an option from Sprint that doesn't require them to make compromises on the feature functionality and battery life of their handsets or network coverage."

The new service is an affordable way to share information and stay in touch, particularly when combined with feature plans such as PCS-to-PCS calling. Whether you are shopping with a friend this holiday season, wanting to stay in touch with distant loved ones or trying to coordinate family schedules, PCS Ready Link can keep you connected, increase your efficiency and keep you on budget without using up your voice minutes.

Sprint has been conducting PCS Ready Link trials with several companies that have a need for quick communication among groups of employees to be productive and effective. This includes companies with large mobile sales forces, technicians and work groups in industries such as manufacturing, construction, delivery, transportation, healthcare, financial services and insurance. Because both PCS Ready Link Phones are equipped with PCS Vision and roaming capabilities, small-, medium- and large-sized businesses can take advantage of the suite of PCS Clear Wireless Workplace solutions.

"Sprint has been a great partner for Cardinal Freight Carriers in providing a range of telecommunication services that allow us to effectively compete in an increasingly challenging marketplace," said Clay Holmes, vice president of IT and engineering for Cardinal Freight Carriers, Inc. "With PCS Ready Link, our supervisors and drivers have a simple way to quickly communicate delivery requirements as they change hour to hour and, sometimes, minute to minute."

Sprint customers who purchase a new PCS Vision Ready Link Phone have a couple of pricing options. Price plans are $15 per month with unlimited PCS Vision, and an additional $5 per month if they would like to sign up for unlimited PCS Ready Link service. Customers can also select a plan with only unlimited PCS Ready Link service for a flat fee of $15 per month. The unlimited PCS Ready Link calls included in the flat monthly fee applies to one-to-one calls, as well as group calls. Customers will also receive PCS Vision and PCS Ready Link free for two months as part of a promotional offer.

Sprint will be conducting live demonstrations of PCS Ready Link at Comdex in Las Vegas on Nov. 17 - 20, 2003, at booth number 11064.

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