Sprint ION Charges into New Markets

Sprint Corp. Wednesday expanded its consumer
high-speed communication service bundle to four new markets in California
and Arizona.

Sprint ION services is a communications package that combines local and
long-distance calling options with high-speed Internet services over
multiple phone lines.

Consumers in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Phoenix can tap into
Sprint’s service area expansion.

The new markets join Austin, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Worth, Kansas City and
Seattle as the first 10 metro areas nationwide to receive the all-in-one
voice and data service.

Bob Thompson, Sprint’s president of national consumer services, said there
are many alternatives to Sprint’s broadband services, but that no other company
provides a comprehensive communications service bundle.

“While there are several options for broadband services, Sprint ION is the
only offer that integrates high-speed Internet access with local and
long-distance calling services, and does so over a single converged
network,” Thompson said.

“Because Sprint ION offers simultaneous use of multiple voice and data
services, families don’t have to vie for time online or phone use,”
Thompson added. “Sprint ION’s integrated design lets consumers manage their
services to best suit their individual household needs.”

Sprint ION includes unlimited high-speed Internet access with download
speeds up to 8 megabits per second and up to four voice or data lines, each
with advanced features like caller identification and voicemail. Unlimited
local calling is part of the program, which include 750 minutes of domestic
long distance service for $159 a month.

Thompson said service expansion is only one part of Sprint’s consumer
broadband strategy.

“Sprint is taking a portfolio approach to broadband services,” Thompson
said. “In May, 1999 we began rolling out a high-speed Internet service
that now reaches 12 of the largest markets served by Sprint’s local
telephone division. With rapid growth in our wireline and wireless network
infrastructure, we see an opportunity to become one of the nation’s leading
consumer broadband providers.”

Analysts have questioned Sprint’s ability to deploy its broadband service
nationwide, citing the service rollout as cumbersome, when compared to
other communications services.

Steve Lunceford, Sprint spokesperson, said Sprint’s deployment plan is on schedule

“We’ve always said Sprint ION would be in 25 markets by the end of the year
and we’re half-way there,” Lunceford said. Sprint is on target with the
plan for this year, and by 2001 we plan to offer broadband services in 75
to 100 U.S. markets.”

Lunceford added that analysts would see a lot of broadband activity over
the news few months.

“We’ve been busy expanding our entire broadband portfolio, ION services,”
Lunceford said. “The premier product set is one piece of our broadband
strategy.”

“As we go forward over the next two or three months, Sprint intends to
expand our high-speed portfolio beyond out super set of services,”
Lunceford added. Sprint plans to rollout DSL access our local markets,
while we continue to work on fixed wireless broadband access in Arizona.”

When Sprint’s DSL buildout is completed this year it pass 23 million homes
across the country. Additionally, Sprint’s fixed-wireless services will be
capable of reaching roughly 30 million U.S. homes.

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