Sprint creates New Ventures unit to tap Android growth
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) has created New Ventures, an organization intended to deliver new business models and product initiatives that tap into the explosive growth of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating as well as accelerating subscriber demand for new applications and premium services.
Sprint is kicking off the New Ventures initiative with the launch of open platforms Mobile ID and Mobile Zone, touted as white-labeled versions of the operator's Sprint ID and Sprint Zone applications. Sprint's international and wholesale partners can leverage Mobile ID to package applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers in thematic bundles across a range of categories and utilities, allowing subscribers to obtain a host of content in a matter of clicks. Sprint customers in the U.S. have downloaded more than 6 million Sprint ID app packs since October 2010; partners include MTV, ESPN, E and Yahoo.
Mobile Zone supplies a messaging gateway for on-the-go customers to access account information, learn about their Android device and discover new apps. The free Sprint Zone app, first launched in mid-2010, includes My Sprint (offering account management tools and information), My Sprint News (updates and insight to enhance the wireless experience), Suggested Apps (recommendations spanning a variety of software categories) and Phone Tips and Tricks (videos and other media spotlighting device use).
Moving forward, the New Ventures unit will collaborate with Sprint's product, marketing and international teams to roll out additional services and capabilities designed to accelerate and deepen consumer engagement with Sprint partners while also encouraging subscribers to purchase content and associate with brands.
Last week, Sprint confirmed plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs in conjunction with the senior level reorganization the company announced earlier this year. Sprint will merge its consumer and enterprise sales and marketing divisions, and will lose four executives as part of a corporate reshuffling aimed at streamlining the carrier's operations as it works to finance its network upgrade and iPhone launch.
Paget Alves, currently Sprint's president of business markets, will now head Sprint's consumer sales as its chief sales officer, while Bill Malloy will lead marketing for both the consumer and enterprise segments. Danny Bowman, the president of Sprint's machine-to-machine business unit, will leave the company, with Matt Carter, currently head of Sprint's wholesale business, taking over the carrier's M2M portfolio. Robert H. Johnson, head of Sprint's consumer business, John Carney, head of consumer marketing, and Chris Rogers, a Sprint executive who worked on corporate development and spectrum, will all exit the Sprint ranks.
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