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If you use Metro in Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia, Sprint has an important message for you

Sprint announced the availability of Sprint and Nextel service to customers in the 20 busiest underground stations in the Washington, D.C. Metro system. The move promises to improve the workday commute for hundreds of thousands of passengers who depend on Metro to travel between their homes and workplaces each day. It also will make touring the historic sites of the Washington, D.C. area easier for millions of tourists who visit the Capitol area annually.

“By extending Sprint and Nextel wireless coverage to these stations, our customers who are metro riders will be able to stay in closer touch with the people important to them,” said Matrona Busch, director-Retail Sales for Sprint. “More importantly, this will strengthen the ability of public safety to respond to emergencies when they occur in the Metro system. Sprint is proud to be a part of this team. We look forward to expanding and enhancing our Sprint and Nextel coverage as the remaining phases of the project are complete.”

Sprint expects to offer service in the Metro’s remaining underground stations by the fall of 2010. Service should be available in 50 percent of the Metro system’s tunnels by the fall of 2011, with complete coverage expected to be established in all the tunnels by the fall of 2012.

While waiting for a train at these stations, Sprint customers will now be able to use the most dependable 3G network** to check their email, update their Facebook status, or even watch a live NFL game, while Nextel customers will be able to use the fastest national push-to-talk network to connect with friends in less than a second.

While other carriers will also offer service, Sprint service offers distinct advantages, available only on the NOW network. Nextel Direct Connect® on Nextel phones has the only “off-network” capability, Direct TalkSM, which is critical for public-safety personnel during emergency-response situations. This all-digital off-network capability works anywhere, anytime between compatible devices (it has a short-range, radio-to-radio capability) to provide a critical communications option when the network is unavailable.* It can be a great “back-up” communications tool in times of emergency, network outage, etc.

Stations with this expanded service include: Ballston, Bethesda, Columbia Heights, Crystal City, Dupont Circle, Farragut North, Farragut West, Federal Triangle SW, Foggy Bottom-GWU, Friendship Heights, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, L'Enfant Plaza, McPherson Square, Metro Center, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Rosslyn, Smithsonian and Union Station.

* Environment, terrain, structures, in-building use and other factors may affect range/performance.

** “Dependable” based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G data connection success, session reliability, and signal strength for the top 50 most populous U.S. markets (including PR) from January 2008 to July 2009. Not all services available on 3G and coverage may default to separate network when 3G unavailable.

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WBT News Desk brings you all the latest and greatest news from the world of wireless business and technology, including breaking news, technical articles and feature stories written by the world's leading experts of mBusiness.

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