TELECOM

Sprint recasting federal business, hires Verizon veteran

Now that wide speculation over Sprint’s future has somewhat quieted, the wireless company is moving to revive its federal and public sector business via new investments from its majority owner Softbank Group.

Sprint has also hired former Verizon executive Chris Felix as vice president of government solutions to lead the renewal effort.

Felix is a 27-year telecommunications veteran and will spearhead Sprint’s push to bring what it calls converged telecommunications and Internet of Things offerings into the public sector, Sprint said Thursday. Softbank took 70-percent control of Sprint in early 2013 and now holds 80 percent.

Sprint is one of several members on prime contractor Harris Corp.’s team for the General Services Administration’s $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract for IT and telecommunications services. EIS is the successor to the Networx contract that expires in March 2020. Sprint is a prime for Networx.

“We believe that partnerships such as this will be one of the ways we will provide the best possible converged solutions for government agencies, as they work on their respective technical and functional modernization initiatives,” Felix told Washington Technology via email.

Softbank is the Japan-based telecommunications company that has put $1 billion into the OneWeb venture, a satellite-based service scheduled to launch in early 2019 and offer global broadband Internet service.

This applies to the federal agencies as “they almost all share the same need to have the best possible U.S. coverage, regardless of how remote or rural a location might be,” Felix said.

“Our partnership with OneWeb will allow us to provide our outstanding value today, paired with a roadmap that allows for the growth of the most effective and efficient solutions for government agencies,” he added.

This renewed push into the government market comes as Sprint continues its efforts to roll out a fifth generation mobile network by the first half of next year. That is intended to help agencies access more information and GPS navigation services in particular for real-time situational awareness and an ability to manage platforms with sensor-provided data.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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