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August 7, 2006

News Release : Sprint Advances Relay Services For Deaf And Hard-Of-Hearing Community

From: Sprint - Aug 7, 2006

Media Contacts:
Christina Ferguson, 913-794-2055


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – August 7, 2006 – Sprint (NYSE: S) continues to serve as the nation’s largest Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) provider with nearly 16 years of experience serving the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Building on that leadership, Sprint is announcing several enhancements that make it easier for customers to use Sprint IP Relay and Sprint Video Relay Service.

Sprint IP is now more convenient than ever to access. In addition to, users can connect directly to Sprint IP using AIM® from their computer or any wireless device that runs AIM. To use, consumers simply add ‘Sprint IP’ to the AIM Buddy List to expedite the relay call.

Blackberry users with OS 3.7 or higher now have even more choices with the beta release of Sprint IP Wireless. This advanced application lets Blackberry relay users, regardless of wireless service provider, place Sprint IP calls directly from their device. The free, over-the-air application can be downloaded from the BlackBerry internet browser at

Sprint’s Video Relay Service is now more convenient access for hearing callers. A new FCC rule now allows users to provide the Video Interpreters (VI) more information before the call starts. Users can feel free to tell the VI as much or as little information as they want to make their call go more smoothly. With SprintVRS, consumers are in control.

Previously, VRS users were required to stay with a VI for 10 minutes, even if the interpreting styles did not match. A new FCC ruling allows users to take control of their call and request a new VI with no wait. There is no longer a need to hang up and call back. This will save users time and make sure they get the service they deserve.

Another enhancement due to FCC rulings is that no matter what type of videophone consumers are using, they can now call any VRS provider they wish to use, including Customers choosing Sprint VRS enjoy quick connection to English or Spanish-speaking video interpreters who are experienced and certified.

MySprintVRS number is also now available, which allows deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers to register for a free, toll-free number that can be distributed to the hearing world for business and personal calls. When a hearing person dials the personalized “MySprintVRS number,” they will be automatically connected to a Video Interpreter who conferences in the sign language user without requiring any additional information. This new system eliminates the often complex and confusing systems employed by other VRS providers. More information on registering for MySprintVRS Number can be found at

Sprint Relay Portfolio of Services
Video Relay Service allows deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers use sign language and connect with a video interpreter to place a video relay call. The interpreter then connects with a standard telephone user interprets the VRS users signed conversation and signs the hearing callers voice conversation.

Sprint has nearly 16 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’s experience in the field assures users of Sprint Relay receive quality service no matter what type of Relay service they are using. 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

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit