AOL, Sprint Decide To Go the Distance

Under the terms of a new marketing agreement with Sprint , America Online, Inc., is offering its members a long distance plan branded as “AOL Long Distance provided by Sprint.” Members who sign up for one of the plans will have the opportunity to earn credit good toward their AOL service.

Under the multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement, Sprint will be the exclusive provider for AOL-branded long distance on the AOL service, as part of both companies’ continuing efforts to provide customers with value-added services.

Sprint’s selection of long-distance plans will be prominently promoted on the AOL service, as well as in other America Online marketing channels. All AOL members in the continental United States will have the opportunity to sign up for the new service.

AOL members who sign up for “AOL Long Distance provided by Sprint” will be able to choose from one of Sprint’s anytime or international residential long-distance services, including Sprint Nickel Anytime for only $5.95 per month. New customers will earn credit toward their AOL service, and will be able to receive additional credit on AOL every sixth month thereafter.

“By joining forces with America Online, Sprint has created a compelling offer for consumers and given them a valuable reason to stay loyal to Sprint,” said Tim Kelly, president of Sprint’s mass markets organization. “Sprint is committed to the consumer marketplace. We’re building on our success in creating innovative communications bundles designed to provide consumers unique incentives through AOL service credits to stay with Sprint for the long term. This new relationship gives us the opportunity to efficiently reach millions of consumers who are an ideal fit for our long-distance calling plans.”

Robert Friedman, America Online’s president of Interactive Marketing, added, “This is a strategic relationship that benefits both companies, allowing Sprint to take advantage of America Online’s broad reach and proven ability to drive new customers to our partners.”

Sprint serves 23 million business and residential customers in more than 70 countries and has more than 80,000 employees worldwide and $23 billion in annual revenues. Sprint also operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States, already serving the majority of the nation’s metropolitan areas including more than 4,000 cities and communities.

AOL is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner .

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