Government // Mobile & Wireless
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1/22/2009
07:42 PM
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Sprint Woos Enterprise With Flat-Rate Plans

The company is targeting business customers on its Nextel network with discounted push-to-talk, wireless Web, SMS, and navigation services.

Sprint Nextel is targeting business users with a series of flat-rate unlimited plans starting at $29.99 on its Nextel iDEN network.

Most businesses purchase wireless services in a consumer model under which they choose a monthly plan and then pay incrementally for services like push-to-talk and text messaging, Sprint said. The third-largest U.S. carrier said it wants to create easier ways for enterprises to purchase and allocate cellular service for their workforces.

The Unlimited Workgroup Communications plan gives unlimited Direct Connect, text messages, and mobile-to-mobile minutes for $29.99 a month. Adding unlimited data, Web browsing, and GPS navigation will cost $10 more per user with a Nextel phone, or it will be $49.99 per month per line for Nextel Direct-enabled Sprint phones. Additionally, businesses can add pooled voice minutes to the plans.

"This is a paradigm shift in how businesses select a wireless plan to meet their business needs," said Danny Brown, president of Nextel Direct Connect, in a statement. "We wanted to deliver more value to our customers and offer Nextel Direct Connect Custom Plans for businesses that wish to control costs without limiting communications. With unlimited Nextel Direct Connect in every plan, businesses have a powerful communication tool at their disposal at a predictable price."

The new Nextel plans will be available to business customers with Nextel Direct Connect-capable phones, and the carrier expects to roll it out to consumers in the future.

The move is the latest by Sprint to take advantage of the iDEN network it acquired in the $35 billion buyout of Nextel. After failing to find a buyer for the network, Sprint said it could offer the carrier a competitive advantage. It will use the iDEN network to offer unlimited voice, text, push-to-talk, and wireless Web for its Boost Mobile customers.

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