No. 18: Sprint Nextel goes for convergence

Sprint Nextel Corp.

Prime IT contracting revenue: $796.5 million

Location: Reston, Va.

Leader: Gary Forsee, chairman and CEO

Employees: 80,000

2005 revenue: $34.7 billion

2005 net earnings: $1.8 billion

2004 revenue: $27.4 billion

2004 net loss: $1 billion

Tony D'Agata, vice president, public sector-federal for Sprint Nextel

Rick Steele

Sprint Corp.'s $36 billion merger with Nextel Corp. has been official only since August, but the combination of these two telecommunication giants paid big dividends for Sprint's government unit in 2005. The newly minted Sprint Nextel Corp. on its first time out cracked the Top 20 of the Top 100 ; it's No. 18, with $796.5 million in prime IT contracts. By itself, Sprint finished in 26th place in 2004, and Nextel was not on the list.

Convergence and mobility are what the company sees as the future of federal telecommunications, said Tony D'Agata, vice president, public sector-federal for Sprint Nextel. "The merger helps us validate and support that phase of the government's requirements," he said.

Sprint Nextel is in a position to meet the needs of the estimated 25 percent of federal employees working remotely, D'Agata said. These employees need integrated wired and wireless services, a combination that Sprint Nextel can deliver, he said.

In 2005, prime contractor Harris Corp. selected the company to offer converged wired and wireless services to mobile Census Bureau workers on the $600 million Census 2010 contract. Sprint Nextel, teamed with Lockheed Martin Corp., is pursuing:

» The $20 billion GSA Networx telecom and IT contract

» The Integrated Wireless Network, a joint project of the Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury departments

» The Secure Border Initiative-Net, a DHS-sponsored electronic surveillance and communication system designed to thwart illegal immigration.

"A couple of these programs we could have pursued as Sprint alone ? but having the push-to-talk capabilities that are important to the public safety and first-responder communities really helps us," D'Agata said.

Sprint Nextel fared well in 2005 in other market areas, such as global and secure networking. The company won contracts on two Transportation Security Administration projects to connect airports using its IP technology. The service will be offered through Sprint's status as an FTS2001 contract holder as well as through its role as a subcontractor to Unisys Corp. on TSA's $1 billion IT Managed Services seat-management vehicle, D'Agata said.

Sprint Nextel also is looking to help the federal government with continuity of operations, emergency response, security and other critical initiatives. Sprint is gearing up to assist with the upcoming hurricane season with a convoy of SatCOLTS (Satellite Cells on Light Trucks) that can drive into an affected area and, within an hour, establish communications and emergency response capabilities.

It also is looking to deploy capabilities that further enhance the ability of federal personnel to work remotely. D'Agata notes that Sprint Nextel offers Evolution Data Optimized technology, which provides DSL-like capabilities to let remote workers better operate their notebooks and PDA devices. In 2006, however, Sprint Nextel will unveil its next generation of that technology, which will feature a large increase in data transfer speed and bandwidth.

"It will allow someone to operate almost any application they want to perform remotely versus having to be in the office to execute the application," D'Agata said. "We believe that by enabling remote workers to be much more productive, this will alter the government's way of functioning."

Additional 2006 Top 100 Profiles
  • No. 1: 12 times the fun for Lockheed

  • No. 2: Northrop takes aim on health IT

  • No. 3: SAIC prepares for public debut

  • No. 4: Revving the acquisition engine

  • No. 5: CSC holds a lure for a buyer

  • No. 6: Raytheon works the system

  • No. 7: L-3 cuts bigger slice of govt pie

  • No. 8: For EDS, steady as she goes

  • No. 9: Booz Allen adapts to stay on top

  • No. 10: Dell solutions get superpowered

  • No. 11: BAE keeps acquisition fires burning

  • No. 12: Despite sale, Anteon's vision lives on

  • No. 13: Intelligence work fuels CACI's growth

  • No. 14: Verizon-MCI combination packs a punch

  • No. 15: Restructured IDS lets Boeing help clients

  • No. 16: ITT Industries aims for the sweet spot

  • No. 17: IBM Corp. steps up as a subcontractor

  • No. 18: Sprint Nextel goes for convergence

  • No. 19: For SRA, the profit is in its people

  • No. 20: It's always mission possible for Unisys

  • Overview: The Billion-Dollar Club

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