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Sprint Execs Exit Means Lower Quality Business Cellular Services

Sprint Nextels board of directors kicked Gary Foresee, who had the titles of chairman of the board, CEO, and president, unceremoniously to the curb. Businesses should weep because his exit means poorer quality cellular services.
Sprint Nextels board of directors kicked Gary Foresee, who had the titles of chairman of the board, CEO, and president, unceremoniously to the curb. Businesses should weep because his exit means poorer quality cellular services.Foresee arrived in 2004 from Bell South and as a former 10 year Sprint executive tried to intertwine the companys roots with a rapidly changing telecommunications marketplace. His first move  and the one that ultimately lead to his demise -- was the purchase of Nextel for $35 billion. Sprint had a history of technological advances, touting the clarity of its all digital fiber optic network in the 1980s and then its PCS wireless network in the 1990s. Nextel was a wireless carrier selling advanced solutions, such as its Click-to-Call feature, to businesses at premium prices, typically 10%-15% more than competitors packages. The agreement seemed to be a match made in heaven, two technology leaders getting together to deliver high quality cellular services to businesses.

But problems arose. Despite all of its technological savvy, Sprint could not get its and Nextels wireless networks to operate efficiently. Compounding the problem, Sprint began shunting traffic from its consumer networks onto the Nextel network and bottlenecks arose. The end result was Nextel customers began to wonder why they were paying premium prices for mediocre service. Quickly, many dumped the service. As a result, Sprint has recently been falling short of its earnings projections: revenue has been flat through 2007 and profits are expected to dip by $1 billion. Consequently, Foresee now has a new email address.

Sprints problems are bad news for medium and small businesses. Chances are that the next Sprint top dog is going to push the company in the direction of Verizon and ATT, successful wireless carriers with their eyes firmly fixed on the consumer market. As the Nextel influence fades, there will be few options available for businesses desiring high caliber cellular services. The end result is they will have to put up with more dropped calls and static on the line. Foresee had a business plan with merit, but unfortunately, he lacked the skills to make his plan work.

Who do you use for your cellular carrier? How happy are you with its services? Would you pay more for a business quality cellular service?