In a letter that was delivered to the Obama transition team on January 6 but was not publicly disclosed until last Friday, Sprint Nextel called on the incoming administration to set aside $2 billion in government funding for a wireless network that would serve the needs of the nation’s first responders in times of emergency. Officials of Sprint—a key supplier of push-to-talk handsets and network technologies used by the U.S. public safety industry—are lobbying lawmakers to include the proposal in the economic stimulus measure that is now before Congress. Described by a Sprint spokesman as “a ready to deploy emergency communications system that can be programmed to be interoperable with existing public safety networks,” the proposed first responder network system would be based on 100 satellite-based trucks that would be deployed to emergency sites. Emergency network equipment and as many as 100,000 mobile handsets would also be stored at 40 pre-selected sites that would be able to ship needed gear to any disaster location within the U.S. within four hours. A Sprint spokesman also argued that the company’s iDEN network “would . . . be a good candidate for this program.”