By JUSTIN KENDALL
Matt Parkman needs Sprint to phone home.
Would it really work?
Last night's two-hour "Heroes" season three premiere featured a blatant shout out for Sprint, a prime sponsor of the show.
Spoiler alert: Near the end of the second episode -- "The Second Coming" -- ex-detective Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) wakes up in a desert after future Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) unceremoniously dumps him there because Parkman knows too much about the attempted assassination of Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar).
Parkman wakes up dehydrated and hears a voice that he thinks is a turtle but is really a new, unnamed character who tells Parkman he's in Africa. Parkman notices a cell phone on the guy's hip, and so comes the following shameless plug:
Parkman: "Your cell. I gotta use your cell. I gotta call home."
New African Character: "No service here. Should have gone with Sprint."
Sprint phones getting reception in a barren, cell-phone towerless stretch of Africa is about as believable as people with superpowers. Especially when Sprint reception is spotty in downtown Kansas City. *according to an informal office survey*
Might not have mattered anyway for a far nerdier reason. Most Sprint phones don't share the technology to provide service in Africa -- Sprint uses CDMA, and as The PhoneBoy Blog points out, "just about everywhere else in the world uses GSM."
Sprint spokeswoman Lisa Zimmerman-Mott says Sprint has about a half-dozen phones will work in Africa, but charges and coverage may vary.
Meaning, to get Sprint wireless access in sub-Saharan Africa without superpowers, you need one of its pricier phones -- notably, not the Instinct -- and pockets deep enough to withstand whopping roam charges. Or just a decent script.