Sprint PCS is expanding beyond consumers to road warriors. Over the next month, it will roll out services linking mobile workers' wireless access to E-mail, sales-force automation, corporate directories, and the like. Sprint's also promising to boost wireless access speeds to 56 Kbps.
Sprint will provide wireless links and phones, while partners Lotus, PeopleSoft, Sabre, Siebel Systems, and Wireless Knowledge will provide systems and software for wireless access to key business programs. Sprint is one of many carriers attacking this niche. AT&T, for instance, recently launched a service that offers wireless access to Microsoft Exchange.
Sprint will charge $40 a month for unlimited wireless Web access for customers who buy voice packages for $49.99 or more per month. Sprint also will sell a compression server designed to boost the data speeds on its PCS network from 14.4 Kbps to 56 Kbps.
Industry analysts liked Sprint's use of partners to create a broader array of packages for various kinds of wireless devices. One potential user, Joe Bove, technology manager at McDermott International Inc., says he likes how Sprint is giving him one place to turn to for multiple services.
Others are uneasy about Sprint's integration skills. "We're going to want a single point of contact," says Maralyn Rosenblatt, VP of Internet technology at Countrywide Home Loans. A Sprint account manager should be the user's first point of contact for issues and questions, she says, and "should be responsible for working with partners to resolve service problems."-