Sprint Launches Local Toronto Service

Sprint Canada Inc.’s foray into the Toronto local service market last month won’t offer as much relief to enterprises as it will to residential customers, according to one analyst.

“It (large enterprise) isn’t their core competency,” said Jordan Worth, an analyst with IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto. “They just wouldn’t compete that effectively.”

Sprint, however, is targeting small and medium-sized businesses with some of its local service offerings.

Sprint’s Enterprise Service plan offers users with five to 15 business lines a base rate of $34 per line per month with volume discounts available.

“The more you spend in long distance, local and data, the more you save,” said Janet Thompson, Sprint’s president of enterprise marketing sales and service.

The volume discounts apply to the total of all Sprint services used by a business at all its locations in a month. These services include: long distance, toll-free, modem, calling card, data services and local.

Businesses that tally total monthly bills of between $2,000 and $4,999 receive a two per cent discount, while users with bills of more than $5,000 get a four per cent discount.

Businesses can also get free local service reports displaying such items as traffic and missed calls and annual local costs.

If firms use Sprint for both local and long distance they can receive all of their voice charges on one bill.

Sprint is serving the Toronto area by leasing local lines from Bell and connecting the lines to Sprint switches co-located at Bell central offices. The company is targeting both the 416 and 905 area codes.

Earlier this year Sprint launched local services in Calgary and Vancouver. Andy Krupski, president of residential and small-office/home-office operations, said Sprint will launch in Montreal later this year. Over the next three years, the carrier plans to expand into 25 large Canadian markets.

In Calgary, Sprint has found that the majority of customers signing on for local service are existing Sprint long-distance customers. Only 20 per cent of local service sign-ups in the city were not already Sprint customers.

IDC’s Worth said offering local service is an important step for Sprint, because it allows them to offer better service bundles. More and more residences and businesses are buying bundled services because of the savings available, Worth noted.