Sprint Pitches $2 billion Emergency Network to Obama
Sprint officials, who are also lobbying lawmakers, hope to include the proposal in the billions flagged for technology in the economic stimulus plan working its way through Congress. Sprint's plan calls for 100 satellite-based light trucks that would respond to emergencies, and 100,000 or more mobile handsets and equipment at up to 40 pre-selected sites. The sites would allow for equipment to be shipped and arrive anywhere in the United States within four hours. Sprint has been struggling with market losses to AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, a venture between Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L).
Motorola Inc (MOT.N) developed and supplies handsets for Sprint's iDen network, which is often used by emergency workers. A second Sprint proposal submitted to the transition team is for the Federal Communications Commission to look at re-regulating prices on telephone lines that route phone and Internet service. Those lines are now controlled mainly by AT&T and Verizon, the remnants of the old Bell phone company monopoly that existed until 1984.
Sprint says it spends one-third of the operating costs for its 60,000 cell sites to use the special access lines.