Sprint Turns to Soho Square for WiMaxx Network

Agency to Draw From WPP Siblings to Work on Xohm Launch Effort

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Sprint today named WPP Group's Soho Square to handle strategic and brand positioning for the North American launch of Xohm, a multibillion-dollar next-generation WiMaxx network championed by the telecom's former CEO.
Xohm promises to provide three-to-five-times-faster connections than current wireless networks.
Xohm promises to provide three-to-five-times-faster connections than current wireless networks.

Xohm, a separate Sprint business unit, will target consumer and business customers. It promises to provide three-to-five-times-faster connections than current wireless networks. In addition to laptops and cellphones, Xohm would connect cameras, navigation devices and numerous other electronics to the internet. New devices coming on the market will include Xohm chips that will allow users to connect with the Xohm network, but older devices will not work with the service.

Users will be able to work on a very fast network whether they are at an airport or at the beach, as fast as if they were in the office with a high-speed connection. (So with a Xohm-enabled camera, for instance, a consumer could take a photo and then send it instantly to the web without an internet connection.)

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Soho Square was selected following a review that included independents Mother and Wieden & Kennedy, according to a company spokesman. To handle the account, Soho Square will tap executives from numerous WPP companies, including Ogilvy & Mather, MindShare, 24/7 Real Media, Leopard Communications, Lacek Group and JumpTap.

Sprint spokesman John Polivka declined to disclose spending on the account, other than to say it would be a multimillion-dollar project. A campaign will break in the mid-second quarter in three cities, Baltimore, Chicago and Washington.

Sprint, the nation's No. 3 carrier, has been bleeding subscribers. Former CEO Gary Forsee, who left the telecom last year, had placed his bet on Xohm as a way to leapfrog the No. 1 and No. 2 carriers, AT&T and Verizon.

Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, Sprint's agency for its $1.2 billion account, will continue to work on the main Sprint consumer business, Mr. Polivka said.