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August 1, 2005

Sprint Launches CapTelSM for Hard of Hearing Community in South Carolina

From: Sprint - Aug 1, 2005

Media Contact:
Tom Matthews, 919-554-7185


Sprint Launches CapTelSM for Hard of Hearing Community in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C., and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Aug. 1, 2005 – Sprint (NYSE: FON) now is offering CapTelSM Relay Service (captioned telephone) in South Carolina. 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.

"Those who have used CapTel phones sum up the experience in one word – freedom," said Dr. J. Barry Morris, Research Administrator at the Office of Regulatory Staff in South Carolina. "The calls are more like an ordinary conversation compared to other relay calls, and we're excited to bring this service to our citizens."

CapTel is a leading-edge technology developed by Ultratec, Inc. of Madison, Wis., that also requires a special CapTelTM-equipped phone 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.

CapTel is available through Sprint in 22 other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Hard of hearing active and retired federal government employees (civilian, military 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 Web site at The South Carolina Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (SC TEDP) provides telecommunications equipment at no cost to South Carolina residents with qualifying hearing, speech, blind/low vision with hearing loss or dual sensory disabilities. The SC TEDP can be reached at 1-877-225-8337 or (803) 896-8337.

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 revoices 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 15 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind or who have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint offers relay services through an intelligent platform to the federal government, 30 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 Reston, Va., and offers the full range of Sprint product and service offerings for federal and state government agencies.

About Sprint
Sprint offers an extensive range of innovative communication products and solutions, including global IP, wireless, local and multiproduct bundles. A Fortune 100 company with more than $27 billion in annual revenues in 2004, 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; an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone; and one of the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide wireless networks in the United States. For more information, visit