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Sprint CEO Gary Forsee Defines Differentiation

Wireless phone penetration is nearing 80 percent in the U.S., forcing mobile service providers to look for new growth vehicles, including music, video, gaming, businesses-oriented services and advertising.

Sprint can claim some early success so far, but it has been limited. CEO Gary Forsee sat down with Forbes.com in New York to talk about the work ahead of him.

Forbes.com: How do multimedia and wireless content fit into Sprint's future?

Forsee: Data services, meaning content, can provide a great experience if you can find the right applications that consumers can adopt and take advantage of. I think the breakthrough comes when that content on the device is very usable and very accessible. If you have to go through ten clicks to get to your favorite application, that�s not going to be as convenient or usable. So we're spending a lot of time and attention on the usability of the applications.

Forbes.com: Early indications show that some of the content-focused "virtual networks," like the Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN phone service, running on your towers aren't very successful. Will any be winners?

Forsee: Our strategy was to be very selective with brands or companies that we thought could grow the pie and that could do something that Sprint couldn't do with its own brand. I don't think there's any question that ESPN and Disney have content capabilities that Sprint couldn't have. It's clear what Mobile ESPN is for -- it's for the sports zealot. Disney is going to have the best content in the universe for the youth and child market. Is that market big enough? Those are questions yet to be played out. We wouldn't have made our investments if we didn't think they had a chance to be successful.

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