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Sprint Investing In Wireless Device Connecting Service

January 16, 2011

Sprint Nextel announced on Friday that it is investing in machine-to-machine services to connect devices like in-car safety systems wirelessly.

Dan Hesse, the company’s chief executive, said after a Detroit Economic Club event that Sprint is making a “significant investment” in offering the new technology to connect everything from electricity meter readers to health care monitors.

“We’re a $36 billion company. We expect it to be a multi-billion dollar division of the company in a few years, but not yet,” Hesse told reporters.

He said that it may be two more years before the segment is big enough to contribute in a significant way to the third-largest U.S. mobile service.

Sprint and other mobile operators are looking into wireless data as one of the next ways for them to grow now that 90 percent of Americans own cellphones.

Advanced phones like Apple Inc.’s iPhone are big sources of demand for data services.

Verizon Wireless said earlier this week that it will start to carry the iPhone on its service, which uses the same wirelessly technology as Sprint.

Apple said the agreement with Verizon Wireless was not exclusive, which leaves the door open for Apple to strike a deal with Sprint as well.

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