OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced agreements with Metrum Technologies, LLC and Tollgrade Communications, Inc. that will help electric utilities improve the efficiency of distribution and management systems, essentially making the smart grid smarter. Metrum's entire line of smart meters is now available with Sprint wireless connectivity. Tollgrade will offer Medium Voltage (MV) sensors with Sprint wireless connectivity by June 2012. The sensors provide fault detection and location, asset management, load monitoring and power quality information for utilities in urban and rural locations.
Sprint is building on a long history of providing utilities with wireless infrastructure by collaborating with Metrum and Tollgrade to provide wireless services that enhance electric grid reliability, optimize service delivery and improve efficiency.
Large scale deployment
Both companies will utilize the Sprint M2M Command Center, a Web-based portal that will give Metrum and Tollgrade the ability to securely manage, activate and de-activate each smart grid device. In addition, they can suspend service, run usage reports and set alerts on how much data each module is operating, without ever having to call Sprint directly.
Additionally, both Metrum and Tollgrade have completed Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Device Management (DM) certification, allowing utilities to manage assets and infrastructure, ideally suited for large-scale deployments. This method of "over the air" management and activation enables a rapid configuration processes and efficient use of the wireless network.
"With the rising demand for energy and natural resources, machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions give utilities and their customers a powerful emerging tool for automating services, managing demand and promoting sustainability," said Wayne Ward, vice president-Emerging Solutions Group, Sprint. "We are excited to collaborate with Metrum and Tollgrade, enabling them to interface directly with Sprint's network and create management portals to better serve their customers. These announcements underscore our commitment to helping the utility industry improve efficiency. Monitoring the smart grid is an example of how connected devices are changing every aspect of our lives."
The next generation of push-to-talk
Nextel Direct Connect®, a workhorse in the utility industry, is evolving to the next generation of push-to-talk service. Sprint Direct Connect® is packed with broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, rugged and reliable handsets. Plus, Sprint Direct Connect interoperates with legacy Nextel Direct Connect devices and talk groups.
Sprint's 3G data network and our enhanced push-to-talk platform will deliver instant calls and support cutting-edge data applications. Sprint's broadband speeds will enable customers to experience the latest in technology applications, such as enterprise business productivity applications, social and multimedia support, and even advanced push-to-X capabilities in the future. Over the past six months, Sprint has announced four rugged Sprint Direct Connect handsets catering to push-to-talk users: Kyocera DuraMax, Kyocera DuraCore, Kyocera DuraPlus and the Motorola Admiral(TM).
Sprint Network Vision
To ensure network longevity and that future demand for secure wireless connectivity will be met, Sprint embarked on a multiyear initiative to provide an enhanced network experience expected to provide faster data speeds and improved voice quality, while creating network flexibility, reducing operating costs and improving environmental sustainability. The program, called Network Vision, involves the deployment of multimode base stations across many of Sprint's cell sites throughout the country. As base stations are deployed, customers are expected to notice immediate improvements both outside and inside buildings, plus 4G LTE capability will become available. This road map for network innovation will help utilities avoid having stranded assets. Sprint expects to complete Network Vision by the end of 2013.
UTC Telecom 2012
The Utilities Telecom Council is holding its annual expo, UTC Telecom 2012, this week in Orlando. Sprint is a sponsor and will have utility industry experts on hand in booth #335 to demonstrate Sprint Direct Connect, as well as Metrum, Tollgrade and M2M solutions. Sprint industry experts are also available to discuss critical infrastructure and cyber security.
Commitment to sustainability
Sprint's industry-leading role in corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability continues to receive recognition. Sprint ranked No. 3 on Newsweek's 2011 Rankings of America's Greenest Companies, up from No. 6 in 2010 and No. 15 in 2009. For the past two years, Sprint received the Sustainability Leadership Award from the International Electronics Recycling Conference & Expo. Sprint also was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and leads the wireless industry in green power, securing the No. 13 spot on the EPA Fortune 500® Green Power Partner List, the only wireless carrier named to National Top 50.
About the Sprint Emerging Solutions Group
With more than a dozen years of experience with M2M, Sprint has been at the forefront of this wireless industry revolution, teaming with and supporting a large and diverse portfolio of innovative companies to create smarter wireless solutions that change the way people work and live. In 2010 Sprint opened the Sprint M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif., a hands-on, interactive lab where ideas knowledge and technology unite to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts and products. Last year Sprint also introduced the Sprint Command Center, a Web-based portal that allows businesses with Sprint wireless-connected products the ability to manage, activate and de-activate each device. Sprint's M2M leadership has earned prestigious third-party validation - including the top-ranked North American M2M provider (and second-ranked carrier overall among 12 global service providers) by Analysis Mason, and the Frost & Sullivan 2011 Customer Value Enhancement Award in North America for Machine to Machine Communications. To learn more about Sprint's M2M offerings, visit www.sprint.com/m2m.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.