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Sprint CEO talks cell service at ND

Adam Llorens | Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mobile carrier Sprint plans to increase the company’s 3G coverage on campus and to introduce a unique Notre Dame Sprint ID Pack, CEO and Notre Dame alumnus Dan Hesse said.

The company hopes to reach out to students who are either searching for a mobile carrier or who are dissatisfied with their current company, Hesse said.

“If there is not great coverage at Notre Dame, I hear it from everyone,” Hesse said. “It may be a selfish perspective, but Notre Dame deserves nothing less than the best.”

The target market for Sprint is shifting from businessmen and women to college students, Hesse said.

“It is very important for us as a company to reach out to students,” Hesse said. “By serving on the board at the Mendoza College of Business and lecturing a couple of times per year, it is clear [to me] who our target customers are.”

Sprint’s current packages reflect the needs of a student demographic, he said.

“Simplicity and value are the two qualities which we attempt to show in all of our products,” Hesse said. “Unlimited text, surf, mobile-to-mobile calls and various other data features starting at $70 per month is a package no other company can beat.”

In addition to improving 3G coverage, Hesse said Sprint is also developing a Notre Dame ID Pack to be released in the spring.

A Sprint ID Pack groups applications on a mobile device to organize them for a particular user’s needs.

“Each mobile marketplace has well over 1,000 apps, so the question of, ‘How do I navigate through all of my apps?’ presents itself,” he said. “To answer this, Sprint has introduced ID Packs which can be catered to whatever one’s personal interests may be.”

Sprint built ID Packs for companies such as ESPN and Disney in the past.

“Notre Dame will be the first university we will be giving this capability to,” Hesse said. “The Notre Dame ID Pack will have everything one may find on the www.nd.edu website, including on-the-go access to an InsideND account, CourseWare files and content on Concourse.”

Hesse said he hopes to develop ID Packs for Notre Dame athletic teams, alumni and fans as well as for students. The Notre Dame ID Pack will be available exclusively on Android phones or tablets.

Hesse, a 1975 graduate, said he maintains a strong connection between the University and his company. The company outfitted Notre Dame’s athletic department with 200 Sprint devices for demo purposes.

Hesse said his experience as a Notre Dame student built the foundation for his company policies.

Sprint operates on a high level of social responsibility, Hesse said, because of the ethical principles he learned as a Notre Dame undergraduate.

“Newsweek recently ranked Sprint No. six on their list of the 500 Greenest American Companies,” Hesse said. “The next closest mobile carrier was ranked at number 99.”

Customer service is also important to the company, he said.

“Sprint’s customer service has improved more than any company in any industry,” Hesse said. “We were recently ranked on the J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champions list.”

Notre Dame students should use the lessons they learn during their four years in college to enter a career field they truly love, Hesse said.

“You must choose something you are truly passionate about and something you will work hard for,” Hesse said. “This University teaches its students lifelong ethical values when, combined with hard work, will take you far.”