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  1. #1
    Sprint News

    Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee


    01/08/2007

    To: Sprint Nextel employees
    From: Gary Forsee

    Dear Sprint Nextel colleague,

    Today, we shared with our stakeholders an initial look at our 2006
    financial performance and our outlook for 2007. I want to provide you
    some perspective on what we announced, what it means to the company and
    what we need to do together to ensure we deliver on our short- and
    long-term commitments.

    The actions we took in the second half of 2006 enabled us to meet some
    of our short-term expectations, and all indicators are pointing to a
    better financial start to 2007, yet there is still much more work to
    do. As a result, we are going to continue to make investments and
    fundamental changes to make us even more competitive over the long
    term. The impact on this year is that we will not achieve the original
    margin and growth objectives that we had planned. However, by
    addressing fundamental issues in our business and making additional
    investments in key areas, we will become a stronger, more competitive
    company and as a result, we expect to begin to see improved performance
    in the second half of '07 and that, in turn, is expected to help to
    accelerate our financial performance in 2008.

    We're taking aggressive actions -- as I talked about with you in
    August -- and one of our most pressing needs is to achieve a cost
    structure that is in line with the realities of the market. A major
    component of our cost structure is the size of our workforce. I
    announced today that we will reduce our overall staffing levels by
    5,000 with most occurring in the first quarter. Initially, in many
    parts of the company, we will look to voluntary employee turnover
    through both attrition and targeted Voluntary Separation Programs (VSP)
    to achieve staffing level targets. In some areas, involuntary
    terminations will be needed to meet our targets. The senior leadership
    team is working to ensure that the areas where we are reducing staff
    are the areas where we need to address our cost structure, and that we
    are appropriately positioned for growth in key strategic parts of the
    business. This can't be about doing more with less -- that
    doesn't work, and it's not fair to you. A year and a half into our
    merger, we know where we have overlaps, what we need to de-select and
    where we need to consolidate. We also know we need discipline in
    focusing on activities that are directly related to our priorities,
    meaning that we can't "chase" every new opportunity or project that
    comes along.

    What we announced today is not just about reducing our staffing levels;
    it's about making investments that will serve us well over the long
    term. We're making major investments as we press ahead into our
    second year as a completely transformed company, with a mobility
    strategy that clearly differentiates us in our markets. We will make
    approximately $1.1 billion in additional investments and commitments
    in the core business, including network, distribution, brand awareness
    and customer service. These investments support the aggressive actions
    we're taking to compete and win in the marketplace:


    After adding more than 3,400 cell sites in 2006 and leading the
    industry with CDMA EVDO Rev A deployments, we'll add an additional
    4,800 sites and extend Rev A across our entire mobile broadband
    network.
    We'll make a strategic shift to focus our wireline efforts on the
    fast-growing domestic and global IP-based services market, while we
    de-emphasize select legacy and data products.
    We're gaining traction with our "Power Up" positioning, and we'll
    significantly increase our advertising spending to support our sales
    and retention efforts as well as to reinforce our network strengths.
    We've also announced that we're reviewing our current support from
    advertising agencies in the first quarter so we can take advantage of
    the best creative talent as we look to make our brand stronger.
    As a part of our mission to deliver a superior customer experience,
    we'll complete our work in delivering a unified billing platform this
    year.
    We're well on our way to delivering greater efficiency and
    effectiveness with our now-combined business and consumer customer
    operations functions, and we continue our relentless focus on customer
    satisfaction, with very aggressive plans in place that enable us to
    target our rate of customer churn at below 2 percent by the end of
    2007.
    We've re-energized our handset portfolio, and our combined CDMA-iDEN
    phone, to be named PowerSource, has been well received with some of our
    most loyal customers.
    We're seeing results from a renewed emphasis on our third-party sales
    channels, and we've streamlined operations in regional sales, service
    and distribution, increasing productivity and empowering our front line
    employees by moving decision-making closer to the customer.
    We've attracted strong new leaders to support us in our branding and
    customer operations efforts.
    These actions are designed to solidify our position in the marketplace
    today and provide the foundation for the long-term growth we're
    poised to deliver. Looking ahead to new areas of growth in 2007:

    We're now serving more than 1.5 million cable telephony customers and
    our offering extends to more than 30 million cable households. We
    expect to double the number of cable telephony customers by year end.
    We've launched four commercial markets with our cable partners
    through our joint venture, with 40 markets to be launched this year as
    we continue to develop exciting new converged products and services.
    We're aggressively pursuing our 4G WiMAX network development and have
    just announced Nokia as the latest major vendor to join our effort,
    along with existing partners Intel, Samsung and Motorola, and, by 2008,
    our goal is to have next-generation coverage for 100 million people.
    In terms of our initiatives begun in 2006, we are making progress in
    several key areas. We've gained ground against the four operational
    priorities we outlined last summer. Our customers' perception of our
    network is improving, our brand advertising is gaining traction in the
    marketplace, new products are receiving a good initial response from
    customers, and investments to improve customer satisfaction are
    beginning to pay off. The progress we're seeing is a result of your
    efforts and great teamwork. Also, I want you to know that I plan to
    recruit a President & Chief Operating Officer and hope that process
    will be completed by the end of first quarter.

    I plan to talk with you via webcast next week about all aspects of
    today's announcement, to discuss the path we're taking and where we
    expect it to lead. In the meantime, I'll be meeting this week and
    next with our investors to discuss in-depth our 2007 plan, and when we
    meet next week, I will be able to give you a recap of those
    discussions.

    I expect our investors to agree that Sprint Nextel remains a strong
    company with a world-class asset portfolio. I believe they will
    conclude the company will emerge as a stronger competitor as a result
    of today's actions. When they understand our plans, our resources and
    what the best employees in the telecommunications industry can deliver,
    they'll share our confidence.

    For all of us as we move forward, I believe our most important task is
    to continue the momentum we built in the second half of 2006 and to
    stay focused on our four operational priorities to deliver on our
    commitments. By exceeding our customers' expectations, by delivering
    superior network performance, and by operating our business as
    efficiently as we can, we will deliver on our shared vision for this
    company, and we will reclaim our position as the leader in innovation.
    Every one of us shares the passion to deliver the best products and
    services to our customers on the nation's most powerful network, and
    working together, 2007 will be an incredible year for Sprint Nextel.

    Gary




    See More: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee




  2. #2
    Steven J. Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] wrote:

    > The actions we took in the second half of 2006 enabled us to meet some
    > of our short-term expectations, and all indicators are pointing to a
    > better financial start to 2007, yet there is still much more work to
    > do.


    I am still kicking myself for completely botching the Sprint Nextel
    merger and pissing off tons of customers.

    > As a result, we are going to continue to make investments and
    > fundamental changes to make us even more competitive over the long
    > term.


    Hopefully we'll be able to find some CSRs that understand English.
    This will incur a hit to our bottom line, since we'll have to pay them
    more than $2/hour.

    > What we announced today is not just about reducing our staffing levels


    He's even more of an idiot than I thought he was 18 months ago. Wheeee!

    I stopped reading at the paragraph following that one, where he said
    he was spending a ton of money on lots of things including customer
    service. But remember, he's reducing staffing levels.

    Mr. Forsee, I'm glad I left Sprint when I did. It pained me greatly
    because I liked the phones and the network coverage and the neato-cool
    data services, but I don't think you have a clue about customer
    service at all.


    --
    Steve Sobol, Professional Geek ** Java/VB/VC/PHP/Perl ** Linux/*BSD/Windows
    Victorville, California PGP:0xE3AE35ED

    It's all fun and games until someone starts a bonfire in the living room.



  3. #3
    Dan Albrich
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    From my point of view, their biggest problem is the natural confusion the
    exists when you sell what are essentially two separate services. That
    unification should have been understood prior to the merger, then been the
    highest priority to do quickly. Sadly, I don't even think Sprint's
    leadership tried to unify their products (and it's still unclear to me if
    that is their goal).

    Get the coverage footprints to match, get the plans to match, and on down
    the line (and don't take more than two years to do it). Build up the
    network, and make it at least as good as the competition.

    Enhanced data (EVDO rev A) can wait as far as I am concerned when the
    quality and reliability of basic voice service is not #1.

    -Dan

    --

    =======================
    Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
    http://cell.uoregon.edu

    --

    "Steven J. Sobol" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> The actions we took in the second half of 2006 enabled us to meet some
    >> of our short-term expectations, and all indicators are pointing to a
    >> better financial start to 2007, yet there is still much more work to
    >> do.

    >
    > I am still kicking myself for completely botching the Sprint Nextel
    > merger and pissing off tons of customers.
    >
    >> As a result, we are going to continue to make investments and
    >> fundamental changes to make us even more competitive over the long
    >> term.

    >
    > Hopefully we'll be able to find some CSRs that understand English.
    > This will incur a hit to our bottom line, since we'll have to pay them
    > more than $2/hour.
    >
    >> What we announced today is not just about reducing our staffing levels

    >
    > He's even more of an idiot than I thought he was 18 months ago. Wheeee!
    >
    > I stopped reading at the paragraph following that one, where he said
    > he was spending a ton of money on lots of things including customer
    > service. But remember, he's reducing staffing levels.
    >
    > Mr. Forsee, I'm glad I left Sprint when I did. It pained me greatly
    > because I liked the phones and the network coverage and the neato-cool
    > data services, but I don't think you have a clue about customer
    > service at all.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Steve Sobol, Professional Geek ** Java/VB/VC/PHP/Perl **
    > Linux/*BSD/Windows
    > Victorville, California PGP:0xE3AE35ED
    >
    > It's all fun and games until someone starts a bonfire in the living room.






  4. #4
    Tinman
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    "Steven J. Sobol" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Mr. Forsee, I'm glad I left Sprint when I did. It pained me greatly
    > because I liked the phones and the network coverage and the neato-cool
    > data services, but I don't think you have a clue about customer
    > service at all.


    If you think CS is the cause of Sprint's woes, I have a bridge in AZ to sell
    you.

    It's much deeper than that, with the Nextel "merger" being the biggest drain
    IMO.


    --
    Mike





  5. #5
    Steven J. Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    In article <[email protected]>, Tinman wrote:

    > If you think CS is the cause of Sprint's woes, I have a bridge in AZ to sell
    > you.


    I didn't say that. It's causing problems. I didn't say it's the *only*
    source of problems.




    --
    Steve Sobol, Professional Geek ** Java/VB/VC/PHP/Perl ** Linux/*BSD/Windows
    Victorville, California PGP:0xE3AE35ED

    It's all fun and games until someone starts a bonfire in the living room.



  6. #6
    Tinman
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    "Steven J. Sobol" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>, Tinman wrote:
    >
    >> If you think CS is the cause of Sprint's woes, I have a bridge in AZ to
    >> sell
    >> you.

    >
    > I didn't say that. It's causing problems. I didn't say it's the *only*
    > source of problems.


    You singled it out in your pseudo message to Forsee.

    I doubt CS accounts for even 10% of Sprint's financial and customer losses.


    --
    Mike





  7. #7
    Tinman
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    "Dan Albrich" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > From my point of view, their biggest problem is the natural confusion the
    > exists when you sell what are essentially two separate services. That
    > unification should have been understood prior to the merger, then been the
    > highest priority to do quickly.


    Yep, and about the only thing "merged" was the Website. And I'm not even
    sure that was such a great idea at the time.

    Oh wait, the logo. Changing it to yellow/black, in an apparent attempt to
    placate Nextel customers, was brilliant. I bet it really made those Nextel
    business users happy.


    > Sadly, I don't even think Sprint's leadership tried to unify their
    > products (and it's still unclear to me if that is their goal).


    They will have to face it sooner or later. Apparently they are going for
    "later." The hybrid handset thing is just another stepping stone (should
    have been out a year ago).


    > Enhanced data (EVDO rev A) can wait as far as I am concerned when the
    > quality and reliability of basic voice service is not #1.


    Well, IMO data is still important. That said I'm not pleased with Sprint's
    handling of it:
    "... and extend Rev A across our entire mobile *broadband* network."
    [Emphasis added.]

    "Broadband" is their current EV-DO coverage, which is less than half of
    their CDMA 1x coverage.

    So Sprint has decided to deploy Rev A before they have even fully rolled out
    EV-DO. They are doing this when there weren't complaints about their EV-DO
    implementation--indeed just the opposite.

    That's going to thrill those that haven't even gotten EV-DO coverage yet.
    Well, maybe they'll be happy with PowerSource, since that coverage is
    rapidly expanding. I know I came to Sprint for walkie-talkie service.

    Meanwhile as the ship sinks even further into the abyss the band keeps
    playing "WiMAX."


    --
    Mike





  8. #8
    Notan
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    Tinman wrote:
    > "Dan Albrich" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> From my point of view, their biggest problem is the natural confusion the
    >> exists when you sell what are essentially two separate services. That
    >> unification should have been understood prior to the merger, then been the
    >> highest priority to do quickly.

    >
    > Yep, and about the only thing "merged" was the Website. And I'm not even
    > sure that was such a great idea at the time.
    >
    > Oh wait, the logo. Changing it to yellow/black, in an apparent attempt to
    > placate Nextel customers, was brilliant. I bet it really made those Nextel
    > business users happy.
    >
    >
    >> Sadly, I don't even think Sprint's leadership tried to unify their
    >> products (and it's still unclear to me if that is their goal).

    >
    > They will have to face it sooner or later. Apparently they are going for
    > "later." The hybrid handset thing is just another stepping stone (should
    > have been out a year ago).
    >
    >
    >> Enhanced data (EVDO rev A) can wait as far as I am concerned when the
    >> quality and reliability of basic voice service is not #1.

    >
    > Well, IMO data is still important. That said I'm not pleased with Sprint's
    > handling of it:
    > "... and extend Rev A across our entire mobile *broadband* network."
    > [Emphasis added.]
    >
    > "Broadband" is their current EV-DO coverage, which is less than half of
    > their CDMA 1x coverage.
    >
    > So Sprint has decided to deploy Rev A before they have even fully rolled out
    > EV-DO. They are doing this when there weren't complaints about their EV-DO
    > implementation--indeed just the opposite.
    >
    > That's going to thrill those that haven't even gotten EV-DO coverage yet.
    > Well, maybe they'll be happy with PowerSource, since that coverage is
    > rapidly expanding. I know I came to Sprint for walkie-talkie service.
    >
    > Meanwhile as the ship sinks even further into the abyss the band keeps
    > playing "WiMAX."


    Another case of looking to the future, without dealing with the present.

    Gotta love it.

    --
    Notan



  9. #9
    Todd Allcock
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    At 09 Jan 2007 09:06:40 -0700 Tinman wrote:


    > They will have to face it sooner or later. Apparently they are going

    for
    > "later." The hybrid handset thing is just another stepping stone

    (should
    > have been out a year ago).


    Sprint, like the Lord, works in mysterious ways that may not be apparent
    to we mere mortals... ;-)

    According to my inside friend at Sprint, the long term goal is to get the
    majority of Nextel customers onto Sprint's PTT system, leaving Nextel's
    iDEN network for government and large corporate users.
    The hybrid phone is a very-interim solution a la Cingular's use of GAIT
    to ease the pain of TDMA to GSM migration.

    Personally I don't know why every is so upset about Sprint and Nextel
    being treated as two different services- they are different products with
    two different target audiences. Heck, McDonalds sells both burgers and
    chicken patties , but no one complains that they don't stick both in the
    same sandwich!


    > Well, IMO data is still important. That said I'm not pleased with

    Sprint's
    > handling of it:
    > "... and extend Rev A across our entire mobile *broadband* network."
    > [Emphasis added.]
    >
    > "Broadband" is their current EV-DO coverage, which is less than half of
    > their CDMA 1x coverage.


    "Half" in geography or population? EVDO is expensive, and many areas
    will likely be passed over for a long time due to cost of implementation.
    Sadly it's makes more economic sense to increase speed marginally in NY
    and LA than to quadruple it in Ottumwa, IA.

    > So Sprint has decided to deploy Rev A before they have even fully

    rolled out
    > EV-DO. They are doing this when there weren't complaints about their EV-

    DO
    > implementation--indeed just the opposite.


    The Rev A upgrade is relatively minor (in terms of deployment cost) vs.
    1x to EVDO. and it keeps Sprint at the top of the data game in
    competitive metro markets.

    > Meanwhile as the ship sinks even further into the abyss the band keeps
    > playing "WiMAX."


    Sprint is in it for the long haul, so many of their innovations aren't
    going to (nor are expected to) have immediate payoffs. But they do keep
    Sprint from having to constantly play "catch-up" later (the position
    Cingular has been forced into lately.)





  10. #10
    Tinman
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    "Todd Allcock" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > At 09 Jan 2007 09:06:40 -0700 Tinman wrote:
    >
    >
    >> They will have to face it sooner or later. Apparently they are going

    > for
    >> "later." The hybrid handset thing is just another stepping stone

    > (should
    >> have been out a year ago).

    >
    > Sprint, like the Lord, works in mysterious ways that may not be apparent
    > to we mere mortals... ;-)
    >
    > According to my inside friend at Sprint, the long term goal is to get the
    > majority of Nextel customers onto Sprint's PTT system, leaving Nextel's
    > iDEN network for government and large corporate users.


    Have you actually used Sprint's PTT system? And it's far more involved than
    PTT: the whole frequency swap issue has to be dealt with, TONS of equipment
    to replace, etc.


    > The hybrid phone is a very-interim solution a la Cingular's use of GAIT
    > to ease the pain of TDMA to GSM migration.


    And GAIT was so popular that all 12 of the handsets ever produced are still
    in use.


    >
    > Personally I don't know why every is so upset about Sprint and Nextel
    > being treated as two different services


    I don't think anyone said they were "upset" (well, not so sure about Nextel
    users--a lot of people I know who used 'em no longer do, and they did not
    switch to Sprint).

    In two cases, the Nextel phones were literally only used for PTT within the
    same building. As nearly everyone that had one also had another cellphone it
    didn't take much for them to think, "hmmm, why don't we just deploy our own
    two-way radios?" And they did.

    Realistically, PTT is a niche product. It makes perfect sense in some cases.
    But I've seen it implemented just for the sake of having "it," where "it"
    turned out to be annoying as hell.

    I haven't seen the breakdown of the loss--hemorrhaging--of Sprint Vs. Nextel
    customers, but it wouldn't surprise me if Nextel is out-losing Sprint.


    >- they are different products with
    > two different target audiences. Heck, McDonalds sells both burgers and
    > chicken patties , but no one complains that they don't stick both in the
    > same sandwich!


    McDonald's didn't go out and buy Kentucky Fried Chicken or Chick-fil-A,
    which would be a closer analogy.

    I, personally, don't want or need PTT on my Sprint phone. Regardless, a
    portion of Sprint's resources went to doing just that (too late, IMO).


    >
    >
    >> Well, IMO data is still important. That said I'm not pleased with

    > Sprint's
    >> handling of it:
    >> "... and extend Rev A across our entire mobile *broadband* network."
    >> [Emphasis added.]
    >>
    >> "Broadband" is their current EV-DO coverage, which is less than half of
    >> their CDMA 1x coverage.

    >
    > "Half" in geography or population? EVDO is expensive, and many areas
    > will likely be passed over for a long time due to cost of implementation.


    Then Sprint will need to rethink their advertising (in almost every
    conceivable manner). When people find out "mobile broadband" is really
    tethered to metro areas they might not be too happy about being left out.
    Can Sprint afford to lose that segment of its customer base? I think not,
    but time will tell (ain't looking good right now, no matter how Gary tries
    to spin it).

    And people travel. They don't expect a touted service to evaporate at the
    city limit.


    > Sadly it's makes more economic sense to increase speed marginally in NY
    > and LA than to quadruple it in Ottumwa, IA.


    Whom was complaining about the lack of speed on the currently-implemented
    EV-DO network? Sprint spent money for bragging rights; money that IMO would
    have been better spent elsewhere (yes, even to CS).


    >
    >> So Sprint has decided to deploy Rev A before they have even fully

    > rolled out
    >> EV-DO. They are doing this when there weren't complaints about their EV-

    > DO
    >> implementation--indeed just the opposite.

    >
    > The Rev A upgrade is relatively minor (in terms of deployment cost) vs.
    > 1x to EVDO. and it keeps Sprint at the top of the data game in
    > competitive metro markets.


    I, personally, don't even need EV-DO Rev A in metro markets because I'm
    usually at a location with WiFi access, or at a client/hotel location with
    broadband.

    And as even Rev A is not up to being marketed/deployed as a replacement ISP,
    I'd sure like to see the ROI on it. (They don't charge more for it.)


    >
    >> Meanwhile as the ship sinks even further into the abyss the band keeps
    >> playing "WiMAX."

    >
    > Sprint is in it for the long haul


    If Sprint doesn't do something now there will be no need for a "long haul."

    They already have a lot of unfinished business on their plate to be taking
    on yet another partial/incomplete rollout of yet another technology. 'Course
    by then they might just choose Fifth Ave, NY and Sunset Strip, LA as the
    only locations for WiMAX.


    --
    Mike





  11. #11
    Mij Adyaw
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    What do you believe is the reason for the majority of Sprint's customer
    loses?

    BTW: Here in Southern California, Sprint has added CDMA equipment to many
    Nextel sites (some of them in NIMBY areas) and has enhanced the already
    excellent service.

    "Tinman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Steven J. Sobol" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> In article <[email protected]>, Tinman wrote:
    >>
    >>> If you think CS is the cause of Sprint's woes, I have a bridge in AZ to
    >>> sell
    >>> you.

    >>
    >> I didn't say that. It's causing problems. I didn't say it's the *only*
    >> source of problems.

    >
    > You singled it out in your pseudo message to Forsee.
    >
    > I doubt CS accounts for even 10% of Sprint's financial and customer
    > losses.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Mike
    >






  12. #12
    Jerome Zelinske
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    I thought iden was to eventually faxed out completely.



  13. #13
    Mij Adyaw
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    What is "faxed out"? I don't understand.

    "Jerome Zelinske" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I thought iden was to eventually faxed out completely.






  14. #14
    John Richards
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    I think he meant phased out.

    --
    John Richards


    "Mij Adyaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]fe13.phx...
    > What is "faxed out"? I don't understand.
    >
    > "Jerome Zelinske" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> I thought iden was to eventually faxed out completely.




  15. #15
    Jerome Zelinske
    Guest

    Re: Today's announcement: A message from Gary Forsee

    So much for my ***** checker. I meant fazed out.



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