Sprint named official wireless carrier for Houston, TX

Sprint’s Now Network is the new wireless provider to the city of Houston, the No. 4 most populated city in America. It’s the first time any wireless carrier other than AT&T has provided the service.

Sprint will supply cellphones, push-to-talk device, emergency communications and data services for most city departments. The contract is worth $15 million over five years. More than 6,000 wireless devices will be deployed, including lots of HTC EVO 4Gs, Motorola PHOTON 4Gs and Blackberries. What, no iPhone or Galaxy S units?

Here’s the presser:

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 21, 2011 – After a three-year competitive process, Sprint (NYSE: S) 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 signaled 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 explained 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 an office.

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.”

“Sprint delivered for Houston on price, support, products and solutions,” Mayor Parker said. “Their sales and support organizations delivered a proposal that made sense and proved the most cost effective for our city. Over the life of the contract we expect Sprint to save the city’s taxpayers nearly $3 million, due to the company’s efficiency.”

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