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June 24, 2004

Sprint Launches Innovative CapTel(SM) Relay Service for Hard of Hearing Community in Texas

From: Sprint - Jun 24, 2004

Media Contact:
Stephanie Taliaferro, 913-794-3658

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — June 24, 2004

Sprint (NYSE: FON), the leading provider of telecommunications relay services (TRS) for the deaf and hard of hearing, has launched CapTelSM Relay Service (Captioned Telephone Voice Carry Over) in Texas. CapTel is an assistive technology aimed at easing communications for the more than 24 million Americans who are hard of hearing, have experienced hearing loss later in life or are deaf individuals with good vocalization skills.

CapTel Relay Service is a leading-edge technology developed by Ultratec Inc. of Madison, Wis., and a special CapTelTM-equipped phone is required in order to place a call through the CapTel Relay Service. The CapTel phone works like any traditional phone with callers talking and listening to each other, but with one very significant difference – captions are provided live for every call. The captions are displayed on the CapTel phone's built-in screen so the user can read the words while listening to the voice of the other party. This allows conversations to flow more naturally, allowing for normal interruptions and expressed emotions. CapTel services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

"Texas has a large number of persons with hearing loss who retain good speech; from young hard of hearing persons to late deafened adults to elderly persons," said Ed Bosson, Relay Texas Administrator. "This new service will serve them very well and provide much needed access to the telephone network. The Texas PUC is proud to play a part in implementing this service."

Earlier this year, Sprint launched CapTel in 14 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. Hard of hearing employees of the federal government also can take advantage of CapTel services by Sprint.

"Using CapTel can be a life-changing experience for many since the service helps them better capture the emotions and words expressed through a phone conversation," said Mike Ligas, region vice president, Sprint Relay. "Since launching CapTel earlier this year, Sprint continues to work hard to bring the service to new states, so we're excited to offer CapTel to Texas residents who are hard of hearing."

For more information on CapTel services provided by Sprint, contact your Sprint Relay Account Manager by visiting and scrolling down the page to find the contact listed for your state. Or you can refer to Ultratec's website at

How CapTel works
As the user dials the phone number of the person they wish to call, the CapTel phone automatically routes their call through the CapTel call center and connects them to their called party. At the call center, a specially trained operator uses a customized voice-recognition computer and re-voices whatever is said by the called party. The voice-recognition software transcribes the operator's voice into captions that appear on the CapTel's bright display screen for the user to read. The user also hears the other party's voice on the phone to the best of their ability, just like any other amplified phone.

Sprint Relay Portfolio of Services
Sprint has nearly 14 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint offers relay services through an intelligent platform to 32 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the federal government. Sprint's experience in the field provides the assurance that all Sprint Relay services will meet or exceed Federal Communications Commission requirements for telecommunications relay services (TRS). Relay service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or call length. For more information, visit

Sprint Government Systems Division ( is based in Herndon, Va., and offers the full range of Sprint product and service offerings for federal and state government customers.

About Sprint
Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With approximately 65,000 employees worldwide and over $26 billion in annual revenues in 2003, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint provides local communications services in 39 states and the District of Columbia and operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States. For more information, visit

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