Wireless major Sprint has replaced AT&T as the
wireless provider to the City of Houston, the fourth-most populous city in the
United States. Sprint’s win marks the first time a carrier other than AT&T
has provided wireless service to the city since the 1980s.
Sprint will supply cellphones, push-to-talk devices, emergency communications and data
services for most city departments. Houston Mayor Annise Parker signalled the
importance of the contract by having a Sprint satellite truck parked next to
City Hall to demonstrate emergency communications capabilities and by sending
her council liaison around to give council members a look at the phones they
would be issued in an emergency.
The contract, estimated at $15 million over five years,
calls for approximately 10,000 activations of wireless services and more than
6,000 devices. The city’s inventory of Sprint phones will include PDAs and
smartphones featuring the award-winning HTC EVO 4G, Motorola PHOTON 4G, a
variety of BlackBerry smartphones and nearly 5,000 feature phones.
Mayor Parker said that her immediate staff, council
members and their staffs and departmental directors and assistant directors
need wireless phones because their work extends beyond normal hours, requiring
them to make calls and use wireless data on nights and weekends. In addition,
the city has many employees in the field, such as inspectors, who rarely sit in
The city’s contract with Sprint also includes 500
tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and HTC EVO View 4G. The tablets are
designed to keep the city’s productivity high and costs low.
The tablets are an extra benefit to a city government
that is committed to reducing paper costs, making progress toward eco-friendly
sustainability goals and working on behalf of taxpayers to achieve more with
fewer resources using mobile solutions,” said Gary Lendennie, client
executive-Sprint Public Sector.
Additionally, the city will use Sprint Mobile Broadband
3G and 4G connection cards to enable large data files to flow quickly between
27 of the city’s departments, including the mayor’s office, public works,
police and fire departments, and health and human services.
This was an important win for us one in which a lot of
folks across a lot of Sprint groups went above and beyond,” said Jim Choate,
area director-South Texas. Overall, Sprint earned this account because our
people put together a customized set of solutions for the city that was
delivered at a compelling price with a service commitment that outperforms the
competition,” Choate added.
Sprint and Google recently announced the rollout
of Google Wallet to all Nexus S 4G customers.
This app enables consumers to transform their phones into
their wallets and make purchases with a simple tap. Sprint is the first carrier
and Nexus S 4G is the first phone in the United States to deliver this
convenient, innovative service that lets shoppers tap-to-pay at hundreds of
thousands of participating retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, the
Container Store, Macy’s, Foot Locker and Subway.