Sprint providing data services for U.S. Census

Sprint Nextel will be the exclusive provider of mobile data services for the upcoming 2010 U.S. Census. The contract is a significant win for the carrier's newly established Business Markets Group, which focuses on enterprise and government customers.

The Harris Corporation, which is the system integrator for the Census, will have 140,000 workers out in the field using hand-held devices that will run on Sprint's CDMA network. Harris field workers started their data collection in April.

The devices--there will be 150,000 provided in all--will have GPS and fingerprint ID scanning capability. The devices will allow workers to transmit data back to the Census Bureau in near real-time, Sprint said. Additionally, Sprint will provide 1,500 mobile broadband data cards and other managed services.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, the contract marks a milestone for the Business Markets Group, which Sprint formed in April. The formation of the group, alongside Sprint's focus on embedded wireless partnerships and wholesale deals, reflects a growing sense that the carrier will have to look beyond traditional wireless money-makers to boost growth.

For more:
- see this release

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