Sprint - Your Partner for Smart Grid Innovation?

Brian Huey from Sprint took the time to answer InnovatingSMART's questions regarding communications support for Smart Grid innovators and entrepreneurs.   Check out Brian's detailed answers below.  THANK YOU, Brian! 


And check out The Sprint Open Solutions Conference Nov. 2-4, 2011, in Santa Clara, Calif. Registration is now open for the conference -- Half-off early-bird pricing through August!    


How would entrepreneurs interested in developing SmartGrid solutions in conjunction with Sprint go about engaging with your company?

The best way for entrepreneurs and developers to contact Sprint is to first browse our M2M Website( and then click on the “contact us” link.



Are there any particular solution areas you are directing your partnership / investment attention to, short-term and/or long-term, with regard to SmartGrid?

Unquestionably the energy and utility industry is experiencing significant challenges today and is currently in a transformational state.  There is unprecedented convergence of new communications technologies to enable key enterprise applications, the need for greater operational excellence, focus on cost containment,  as well as meeting ever increasing regulatory demands.  Although the traditional model of a vertically integrated utility still exists, utility executives will be challenged in partnering with 3rd party application and service providers, diversification of energy supply (base, peak, and renewable), enabling the consumer in making smart energy decisions, and the eminent challenges of supporting electric vehicle transportation in the future.  Whether public or private, utility priorities will likely remain the same…safety, operational excellence and superior customer service, regulatory compliance, however, new enabling technologies for the connected worker and digital utility-of-the-future will be ever present.

Sprint’s focus is to provide comprehensive 3G & 4G network services and secure VPN connectivity options through our DataLink managed service for the various applications surrounding Smart Grid.  Common applications are Automatic Meter Infrastructure (AMI), Distribution Automation (DA), Demand Response (DR), and Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA).  Other emerging applications such as Building Management, Home Energy Management and Electrical Vehicle charging, are increasing becoming a component of the Smart Grid and encouraging Sprint and Utilities to collaborate. Sprint is also heavily engaged in the industry standards activities, ecosystem of technology providers, and strategic application partnerships.  There is an evolving intersection of the Telecom services provided by companies such as Sprint to the integrated communications needs of utility companies deploying Smart Grid applications going forward.



What standards or pre-standards are you tracking/helping to develop in the SmartGrid space?   What technology elements might you be focusing on as part of Sprint’s response to the need for SmartGrid solutions?


We track several standards and industry organizations that direct the utility industry. We follow the activities in UTC, NERC/FERC, SGIP, NIST as well as activities in Zigbee Smart Energy Profile and similiar energy management technologies.


How does Sprint support and engage with entrepreneurs?

Sprint supports developers and entrepreneurs through a variety of programs:

1. The Sprint M2M website ( is an excellent resource for developers and entrepenurers. We publish case studies, profile solutions and provide resources on how to engage with us and launch solutions.

2. We sponsor and participate in tradeshows, both national and regional, and invite partners to showcase their solutions in our booth in areas that are VC focused and Vertically Market focused. We have tradeshow events planned in all of our major vertical markets, such as Smart Grid, Transportation, Healthcare to name a few.  

3. Sprint embraces an Open strategy enabling world-class M2M solutions. Sprint encourages developers to create innovative apps on multiple platforms including Android, webOS, RIM/Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Java. Through our Open-Network-Execution approach, we can serve customers as their primary M2M partner. Our value proposition is built on streamlining the process of deploying M2M solutions, while enabling customers to tap into our extensive M2M ecosystem, where they can choose from a broad selection of applications and expertise to support their specific objectives.


4.  Each year developers gather at the Sprint Application Developers Conference to hear from Sprint executives and industry experts to learn how to leverage the full suite of open development capabilities. Sprint Open Solutions Conference, typically held in the 4Q in the San Francisco area.  Additional information is available at  

5. Last fall, Sprint opened the M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif., which is a dynamic and interactive environment where ideas, knowledge and technology come together to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts, products and solutions. The Collaboration Center brings together Application Developers, System Integrators, Device/Module Manufactures, Solution Providers, Sprint Partners, Engineers and customers to rapidly develop proof of concepts and test connected devices before submitting for certification. Representatives from partners companies and from across Sprint work side-by-side to rapidly bring new M2M solutions to the utilities industry, as well as other segments. Additional information about the Sprint M2M Collaboration Center is available at:

6. Sue, I also invite you to look at our recent new release "Sprint’s Growing M2M Partner Ecosystem Expands Options for Businesses and Consumers,"



Brian M. Huey
Business Development and Strategy – Smart Grid and Utilities

Sprint. America’s Favorite 4G Network.



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Comment by Sue Lebeck on October 26, 2012 at 7:50pm

update from our friends at Sprint -- Congratulations Guys!:


Newsweek ranked IBM, HP and Sprint as the top three companies for environmental sustainability.

Randy Spolter





Sprint Ranks #3 on Newsweek Magazine’s Green Rankings


Named one of the greenest companies in America for the fourth straight year, the wireless carrier continues to lead the industry in environmental business practices


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Oct. 22, 2012 – For the fourth straight year, Newsweek’s annual Green Rankings has recognized Sprint Nextel [NYSE:S] as one of the greenest companies in the United States, ranking the company third among the 500 largest publicly traded corporations. Sprint also ranked #3 in 2011, up from #15 in 2009 and #6 in 2010.

Sprint’s inclusion on the list is based on the carrier’s 2011 performance in such areas as  greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction and management of natural resources. Today’s Newsweek announcement also coincides with the release of Sprint’s annual Corporate Responsibility Performance Summary, which provides greater detail on how the company, the only wireless carrier to crack the top 25, continues to advance its environmental business practices and policies.

“It’s a significant accomplishment for the employees of Sprint that Newsweek has once again recognized our sustainability efforts. Our commitment to ‘doing the right thing’ is an integral part of our long-term plan to reduce costs, drive revenue and increase customer loyalty,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Last year we continued our sustainability journey by improving performance against our environmental goals and establishing an external stakeholder advisory panel.”

Newsweek’s Green Rankings thoroughly evaluate the environmental performance of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States and those worldwide, and are based on a number of criteria, including  environmental impact, environmental management, and environmental disclosure collected by leading environmental research providers Trucost and Sustainalytics. Sprint’s performance in these areas – in addition to others – are also illustrated in the company’s Corporate Responsibility Performance Summary. Notable achievements from the 2011 Performance Summary include:


Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sprint has the most aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction goals of any U.S. wireless carrier and was the first to publicly announce an absolute emission reduction goal. To date, the company is halfway to its goal of a 20 percent absolute emission reduction by 2017. In 2011, Sprint achieved an absolute emissions reduction of 3.25 percent year-over-year with a 31 percent year-over-year reduction in emissions intensity – milestones reached through the introduction of more-efficient network equipment as part of Network Vision, an increase in renewable energy purchases, energy efficiency improvements at its data centers, and a shift to more fuel-efficient SmartWay certified fleet vehicles.  

Sprint’s GHG reduction successes and reporting transparency have been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Carbon Disclosure Project and are especially notable because they occurred during a period of significant data traffic growth and the build-out of Sprint’s new high-performing LTE network.


Electronic Waste Reduction

Sprint was the first and continues to be the only U.S. wireless carrier to outline specific commitments that address electronic waste (e-waste) holistically by focusing on the full lifecycle of the electronics it buys and sells. Its Electronics Stewardship Policy, developed with guidance from BSR, Basel Action Network and ABI Research, publicly states Sprint’s pledge to responsibly recycle electronic scrap while striving to boost equipment recycling and reuse. To date, the carrier’s groundbreaking phone trade-in program, Sprint Buyback, and other wireless device recycling programs, have collected more than 40 million devices (over 5 million this year alone), while putting more than $75 million back in customers’ pockets. Sprint’s device take back programs have also supported bottom line objectives, helping the company avoid more than $1 billion in cost through reuse and recycling.


Sustainable Devices

The carrier’s relationship with Underwriters Laboratory Environment (ULE) led to the creation of the first environmental standard for wireless mobile phones: ULE 110, which was launched in early 2011. The ULE 110 standard sets product guidelines in manufacturing and operations, performance, energy management, sustainable innovation and packaging. In May 2011, Sprint launched Samsung Replenish, which was the first wireless device in the United States to receive ULE 110 certification. Sprint has since launched seven more Platinum-certified devices and continues to lead the industry by offering more devices with eco-friendly features than any other wireless carrier in the United States.

At the beginning of 2012, Sprint announced that all devices it sells must go through ULE 110 assessment. The carrier’s newly updated environmental vendor scorecard also places new emphasis on devices that are easily repairable and meet more aggressive packaging requirements – changes that will help reduce Sprint’s environmental impact and also reduce repair and shipping costs. Today, Sprint has achieved ULE 110 certification for more than 80 percent of the carrier’s current device lineup.

Sprint’s commitment to sustainability as a core part of its business strategy continues to receive recognition. Earlier this year, the carrier was named No. 4 – and the only wireless provider – on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Top 20 Technology & Telecom list of green power users within the sector. This summer, Sprint was recognized by independent analyst firm Verdantix as the top U.S. wireless provider for corporate sustainability performance. For the last two years, Sprint Buyback has been named the best buyback program in the industry by Compass Intelligence based on an overall score among national carriers.


About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers and most improved in customer satisfaction across all industries during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and

Comment by Sue Lebeck on January 31, 2012 at 10:48pm

An update from our friends at Sprint -- Congratulations Guys!:

Sprint Leads Wireless Industry in Green Power, Securing No. 13 on EPA Fortune 500Ò Green Power Partner List

Only wireless carrier named to National Top 50

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Feb. 03, 2012 – Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) announced today that the company has moved up from No. 20 to  No. 13 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) FortuneÒ 500 Green Power Partner list, and to No. 26 on the National Top 50 list highlighting the largest green power purchasers. Sprint is the only wireless carrier to appear on the National Top 50 list. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the two key components of Sprint’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint. Sprint's renewable energy efforts build upon its existing relationship with the EPA to protect the environment through its electronic waste efforts and device recycling programs.

Sprint has secured more than 170 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, enough to meet 5 percent of the organization's electricity use and offset 100 percent of the company’s energy use at its Overland Park, Kan., headquarters. Sprint’s latest renewable energy initiative was the purchase of a strategic portfolio of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from renewable energy provider, 3Degrees. A renewable energy certificate represents the environmental attributes that are created when electricity is generated using renewable sources such as wind or solar.


“We are proud to again be named on the EPA’s Green Power Partners list,” said Gene Agee, vice president - Procurement & Real Estate, Sprint. “Our recent efforts to expand our use of renewable energy products and significantly improve our energy efficiency, demonstrate our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and leading the industry toward cleaner energy solutions.”

The EPA considers “green power” as generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydropower. According to the EPA, purchases of green power help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants that threaten Americans’ health, and help accelerate the nation’s voluntary green power market. Purchases of green power help expand the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

“The EPA applauds Sprint for greatly increasing its green power purchase and for taking a leadership position on the environment,” said Blaine Collison, Director of the Green Power Partnership. “Green power can be one of the easiest ways for an organization to address its carbon footprint and to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity generation.”


Sprint leads the U.S. telecommunications industry in terms of kilowatt hours of renewable energy products in its portfolio. According to the U.S. EPA, Sprint's green power is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 24,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 15,000 average American homes annually.


A sustainability leader

Sprint’s leadership in environmental sustainability has earned the company substantial recognition. For the third year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2011 Rankings of America’s Greenest Companies at No.

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