OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sprint (NYSE: FON) today announced plans that will make it the first major telecommunications provider to offer complete, end-to-end management of wireless devices and services for business customers. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001013/SPRINTLOGO ) Sprint Managed Mobility Services will build on Sprint's strategy to focus on the high-growth wireless area of its business while developing solutions that meet the increasing needs of its customers for mobility, security and easy wireless management. Until now, customers either managed complex wireless solutions for themselves or paid vendors to procure, replace and upgrade devices; manage device inventory; and handle wireless security risks. The result: high costs and inefficiency -- major barriers to the adoption of reliable mobile worker solutions. Sprint Managed Mobility Services will save businesses money and time, while making managing wireless as easy, predictable and efficient as managing traditional long-distance services. It can make the management of wireless devices and applications as simple and effective as systems that now manage laptops and desktops for companies of all sizes. Sprint is currently in trials with around a dozen customers and will launch in early first quarter 2005. Sprint Managed Mobility Services Components For the business customer who asks, "How do I reduce waste in my calling plans?", or "What do I do if a device carrying highly sensitive data is lost or stolen on the road?", or "How can I make sure that when I replace a device it has the same applications, security and management controls of the old one?", Sprint Managed Mobility Solutions provides answers. Specifically, Sprint Managed Mobility Services will include: -- Security management -- Remote disablement, data encryption and passwords will all be managed by Sprint so customers can be more confident that critical information will be protected. -- Configuration management -- Sprint will deliver "over the air" installation of critical software components minimizing the IT management costs associated with distributing software and eliminating the need for customers to tether devices to a computer. -- Provisioning/fulfillment -- Sprint will handle all orders for initial devices, replacements, upgrades and accessories. -- Asset management -- Sprint will help customers manage mobile devices with the detail, efficiency and security with which they typically manage laptops and other technology assets. -- Billing management/Shared Sprint PCS wireless minutes -- Customers will be able to eliminate waste on individual usage plans by pooling Sprint PCS wireless minutes (an employee on a corporate purchased plan can draw from a common pool of minutes). The service also includes e- billing, plan maintenance, bill analysis and other components. A New Approach for Business Mobility Sprint Managed Mobility Services will also complement Sprint's deployment of broadband EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) technology across its wireless network. As businesses begin deploying a larger number of data-capable wireless devices and applications across EV-DO, Sprint's end-to-end management services will provide significant expertise, cost savings and peace of mind. EV-DO will accelerate mobile device data speeds up to 10 times faster than on today's network, enabling LAN-like access to critical information. This means more powerful applications can be shared across wireless and wireline networks -- a distinct Sprint advantage. "Sprint Managed Mobility Services plays to Sprint's strength -- its leadership in the wireless space and its unmatched portfolio of wireless and wireline solutions," said Howard Janzen, president - Sprint Business Solutions. "By managing business customers' wireless needs from end to end, Sprint can deliver a better customer experience and improve customers' efficiency and cost profile. Sprint has offered Sprint Managed Network(SM) Services for years for long-distance data services, and our ability to leverage that model, experience and expertise to meet emerging needs in the wireless space is an advantage. Most wireless carriers that lack that heritage and will struggle to duplicate it." Customer Point of View Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company is among the current trial customers for Sprint Managed Mobility Services. According to Bob Johnson, senior vice president, Information Services, security and efficiency are two of the highest priorities for the company, which manages more than $16 billion in assets. "We need the ability to instantly distribute new, advanced applications over the air to thousands of employees nationwide without needing to physically handle every device. Better management of our wireless assets will help me maximize the value of every dollar that I spend and give me the peace of mind that my wireless assets are secure, protected and completely up-to-date. Ultimately, these benefits translate into a competitive advantage and success with our customers." Industry Trend The new services come as industry analysts say that the fastest growing enterprise telecom expense is wireless, with millions of dollars being spent on managing devices, mobile plans and security. "Businesses are demanding the same kind of security, predictability and efficiency from wireless services, devices and applications that they have come to expect from traditional wireline services," said Phillip Redman, Research Vice President with Gartner, Inc. "Not only are wireless expenses growing quickly, but security concerns and the need to quickly deploy advanced applications to a mobile workforce continue to be priorities for IT executives. Demand is increasing for effective management of all of the elements that make up business mobility." The announcement of SMMS comes shortly after Sprint broke new ground by launching wireless service level agreements for business. Launched in August 2004, the new wireless SLAs represent the only national program in the communications industry to offer service credits to businesses with corporate-sponsored (or company-paid) wireless subscribers based on the performance of the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network. The SLAs provide commitments for voice service reliability based on measuring dropped calls, blocked calls and network voice availability. About Sprint Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With more than $26 billion in annual revenues in 2003, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint provides local communications services in 39 states and the District of Columbia and operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.sprint.com .