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October 13, 2004

Sprint Launches Innovative CapTel Relay Service for Hard of Hearing Community in Nevada

From: Sprint - Oct 13, 2004

Media Contact:
Stephanie Taliaferro, 913-794-3658


Sprint Launches Innovative CapTelSM Relay Service for Hard of Hearing Community in Nevada

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Oct. 13, 2004 - Sprint (NYSE: FON) is now offering CapTelSM Relay Service (captioned telephone) in Nevada. 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.

"Nevada is looking forward to working with Sprint and Ultratec in providing CapTel during this six month trial period," said Betty Hammond, Nevada Relay Administrator, Nevada Office of Disability Services. "CapTel is an exciting new technology which can greatly benefit hard of hearing individuals allowing them to communicate in a natural way."

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.

"Communicating with CapTel can be an emotional and exciting experience for individuals who are hard of hearing and haven't been able to have quality conversations over a traditional telephone," said Mike Ligas, region vice president, Sprint Relay. "Sprint is enthusiastic about bringing this communications option to the hard of hearing citizens of Nevada and many other states throughout the country."

CapTel is available through Sprint in 18 other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Hard of hearing active and retired federal government employees (civilian and military), veterans and federally recognized U.S. Tribal members also can take advantage of CapTel services through Federal Relay.

For more information on CapTel services provided by Sprint, please visit Or 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 bright display screen on the CapTel phone 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 14 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who has a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint offers relay services through an intelligent platform to the federal government, 31 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and New Zealand. 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 more than $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