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Forsee Forsees Sprint’s Future During Keynote

LAS VEGAS — Emphasizing innovation and integration as the twin pillars of his business, Sprint chairman/CEO Gary Forsee, sketched his vision of Sprint’s future at his keynote yesterday.

‘The consumer electronics and telecommunications industries have run on parallel tracks and have literally changed the way we live,’ Forsee said.

Forsee paid homage to his CE hosts, saying that the telecommuncations field should learn five lessons from the CE business: think of customers first, deliver value, be sure the products can be integrated with other devices, make products easy to use, understand and fix, and finally, don’t fear the customer’s desire to trade up too fast.

Referring to hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s quote to ‘skate to where the puck will be,’ Forsee said the company’s mission is to stay relevant by anticipating where technology is headed. In that search, Sprint would be guided by two principles: innovation and integration.

The company’s innovations must have the power to change lives, Forsee said. As examples, he recounted how a young Sprint PCS customer foiled an attempted abduction by using his cameraphone and how a volunteer storm chaser uses his PCS card to wirelessly upload video from a laptop to National Weather Service centers.

Forsee called upon the services of the ubiquitous Sprint PCS commercial spokesman, clad in his trademark black trenchcoat, to detail how the second pillar, integration, would play out in the near future with streaming video services in partnership with Samsung and RealNetworks.

Sprint phones will be able to view live, streaming video from a variety of sources, including Fox Sports.

This month, Sprint will also begin its Game Lobby where frequent video gamers will be able to play new 3-D games enabled by next-generation JAVA for mobile handsets. In the near term, Forsee said, location-based services and voice-activated menu controls are in the works.

‘Voice and data convergence is where the industry has to go and needs to be,’ Forsee said.