Sprint committed to reclaim its stake in the public safety market, noting it will leverage technology advancements from the likes of Arm and OneWeb to help push its wireless, cloud and IoT portfolio to federal and public sector customers.
Chris Felix, newly named VP and general manager of government solutions, will spearhead the effort. In a statement, Felix said his focus will be on “providing the most creative and advanced, mission critical, converged telecom solutions possible.” Felix previously served as VP of federal government sales at Verizon from 2009 to 2012.
Sprint said products on offer will include mobility, smart buildings, fleet and asset tracking, digital form migration and cloud computing and communications. The operator also plans to leverage its relationship with parent company SoftBank and its subsidiaries to give its portfolio an extra boost. In particular, Sprint pointed to OneWeb’s satellite-based services as opening the ability to offer global coverage, and Arm’s secure chip design capabilities.
“Everything that can be connected will be connected. That gives the federal government and public sector agencies more opportunities than ever before to provide a higher level of accessibility, service and information to our citizens, and Sprint is primed to facilitate that,” Jan Geldmacher, president of Sprint Business, explained in a statement.
History and hurdles
Sprint noted it provided government and public sector solutions since 1988 and supported several high-profile clients in recent years. It didn’t specify whether it will target local governments or larger agencies with its new campaign. On the latter front, though, the operator faces an uphill battle.
Sprint was notably the only tier-1 US operator left out when the US government awarded a five-year, nearly $1 billion, contract for wireless service and devices in October 2017 (though it is unclear whether it missed out or declined to bid for the contract).
The operator was also not among the ten companies – including AT&T and Verizon – which won spots in a 15-year, $50 billion, US General Services Administration technology purchasing programme awarded in August 2017.
AT&T racked up other lucrative government deals in recent months, including a contract to provide cloud-based communications for nearly 1 million Army users, which was signed in October 2017, and its ongoing deployment of the FirstNet emergency services network.