Sprint has teamed up with Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago to announce an investment plan that according to the city's mayor, will bring 300 new jobs to the area and improve the quality of service provided by Sprint. The plan is called Sprint for Chicago and it seeks to add new infrastructure and investment in the Windy City. Most of those new jobs will come via the addition of more storefronts that will sell Sprint products and services. It is projected that around 46 new retail locations will be opened in the city for the 2015 year, with possibly more openings in 2016. Sprint will also make further investments in suburban areas such as Aurora, Rosemont, Schaumburg, and Gurnee that will add an additional 240 jobs, bringing the overall total to 540 jobs for the Chicago region and suburbs.
The plan will also add new cell sites across many Chicago neighborhoods such as areas near Rush University Medical Center as well as along various subway routes throughout the city. Chicago will also be the first Sprint city to be upgraded to more advanced LTE technologies which Sprint hopes will bring better, more reliable connections to improve "bandwidth-intensive applications, including new generations of online gaming, virtual reality and advanced cloud services." According to Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO, these new improvements will add more stores which will mean more jobs for the city as well as having a first-class network will add more customers that are seeking faster services.
Sprint also made a $250,000.00 donation to help fund expansion efforts for the "Connect Chicago Challenge" which is a citywide project to make Chicago "the most skilled, most connected, most dynamic digital city in the world." The challenge was issued by Mayor Emanuel in 2012 under the name "Broadband Challenge" in 2012. This challenge is an effort to increase digital access via several efforts across the city. Sprint will also create what it calls a "Chicago-specific team" that will be run by a general manager who will run the specific region and focus specifically on that areas needs and performance. This new position will attempt to make the purchasing experience easier for the customer, make enhancements to the network as well as work on various civic projects in conjunction with civic leaders from the Chicago area.
Sprint has said that they will be increasing their LTE coverage in other markets and they have used Chicago in the past to launch new products and services, so it seems natural that Sprint chose Chicago to launch its new faster LTE advancements and services there as well. All told since 2012, Sprint has invested $548 million in the Chicago area. With these new improvements and new jobs, Sprint is hoping that the new technologies that it is offering will bring in more customer while Chicago gets a much-needed boost of new jobs for the region. We will have to wait and see if this partnership will yield the new jobs and advancements in infrastructure that it promises.