OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sprint is ready to help customers stay connected and mitigate impact to its network if a hurricane makes U.S. landfall during the 2015 hurricane season, which runs from June 1st to Nov. 30th.
On the eve of the season, weather experts are predicting an average of 8-12 named storms and six category 3 or higher hurricanes this year.
“Communication during and after a storm is vital for our customers,” said Joe Meyer, vice president, Sprint Network Performance. “They can be confident that they can rely on Sprint during an emergency. Sprint’s extensive planning and preparedness for storm-related events enables us to quickly restore any impacted services.”
Preparations Ahead of the Storm
In order to protect its wireless networks from the impact of a tropical storm and help keep customers connected during a natural disaster, Sprint has taken various preparedness measures, including:
- Investing billions of dollars between 2012-2014 in coastal states from Maine to Texas, including investment in new cell site equipment, batteries, and greater fiber backhaul.
- Installing hundreds of permanent generators - automatic cutover switches - in communities along the Gulf coasts to minimize impacts from commercial power failures during a storm.
- Delivering hundreds of new portable generators to the coastal areas since 2013 for site restoration.
- Performing preventive maintenance checks and fuel top off on fixed and portable generators.
- Pre-staging SatCOLTS – Satellite Cells on Light Trucks - distributed to higher risk locations to permit timely restoration in impacted areas.
- Conducting emergency readiness exercises to help ensure engineering and operations teams, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and other functional incident management groups are prepared.
During and After the Storm
Once an event occurs, Sprint’s Enterprise Incident Management Team will move quickly to:
- Assess impacted areas from a local engineering command center.
- Inspect wireless networks after landfall to assess damage.
- Work with local public safety and power-company officials to coordinate damage repair and recovery efforts.
- Provide Wi-Fi calling for first responders, in the event that commercial wireless networks go out of service.
- Offer Wireless Priority Service access to key public sector customers. This service puts public safety officials at the front of the line in making their wireless connection, much as flashing lights on an ambulance help move public safety through traffic on the road.
- Provide any local public safety agency in states where an official “state of emergency” has been declared with emergency communications assistance including 14 days of service free of charge for up to 25 Sprint ERT wireless devices.
To help wireless consumers prepare for a storm this season, Sprint offers tips such as the importance of sending text messages instead of calling and keeping mobile devices and batteries charged.
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 more than 57 million connections as of March 31, 2015, 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.