CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced a series of investments in Chicago that will bring jobs and infrastructure investments to the city over the next two years. This investment plan – known as Sprint® for Chicago – will bring more than 300 new jobs to neighborhoods throughout Chicago by the end of 2015 and includes the installation of hundreds of new cell sites and an expected investment of $45 million in its network infrastructure between now and the end of 2016.
“Sprint’s investment means more jobs in our neighborhoods today, and supports Chicago’s continued economic growth,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “From the new storefronts to making us the first in the nation to upgrade to faster service, Sprint is helping to bring both the jobs and the technology to power Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities for the 21st century.”
“Chicago is the perfect city for Sprint to expand its operations – diverse, innovative and on the path to becoming a world-class technology leader,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “New stores mean more jobs, and a first-class network means loyal and satisfied customers ready to use faster and more reliable connections.” Chicago has long been Sprint’s city of choice for introducing new technologies and the company continues that commitment with the support of the Mayor’s office.
Chicago will be the first Sprint city upgraded to an even faster network with the deployment of LTE Advanced technologies. These faster speeds are expected to improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications, including new generations of online gaming, virtual reality and advanced cloud services.
New cell sites will be located in neighborhoods throughout the city and include the areas around Rush University Medical Center, along Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) subway routes as part of the project to upgrade the wireless network in the City’s system, and areas surrounding Garfield Park.
To accelerate its pledge to invest in Chicago’s communities, Sprint is donating $250,000 to fund an expansion of the Connect Chicago Challenge – citywide effort to make Chicago the most skilled, most connected, most dynamic digital city in the world. Announced by Mayor Emanuel in 2012 as the Broadband Challenge, the Connect Chicago Challenge will increase digital access through comprehensive programming, outreach and public access in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Wireless usage by Sprint customers in Chicago increased more than 640 percent from 20121. In that time, the company has invested more than $548 million to improve Chicago customers’ wireless experience. The company plans to add new cell sites to improve service and increase its retail investment with more than 46 new retail locations in 2015.
Sprint has also created a Chicago-specific team to be led by a general manager who will focus on the needs of Chicago’s wireless users. The team will work to improve customer service, simplify the purchasing experience, enhance the network, further support the community of Chicago by collaborating with community organizations and sponsoring more Chicago programs and events.
In the entire Chicagoland area – including suburbs such as Aurora, Rosemont, Schaumburg, Gurnee – Sprint plans to add over 540 jobs and will open more than 115 stores. These jobs are expected to include retail, customer service, network and corporate.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served nearly 56 million connections as of Dec. 31, 2014, 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; leading no-contract 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. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past four years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 This represents handset tonnage growth from 2012-2014 for both prepaid and postpaid customers in Chicago