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Sprint to shut Nextel iDEN network next year
30 May 2012
Sprint to close iDEN network and move customers to 3G CDMA to create capacity for LTE expansion
Sprint has announced that it will close its iDEN network — launched by Nextel, which it bought in 2005 — by the end of June 2013.
The company will move all its customers to its CDMA-based 3G network, using a service called Direct Connect, which provides the push-to-talk feature that has been available to iDEN users.
The move appears to have been taken in order to release spectrum for Sprint’s move to LTE. Sprint has been running its CDMA and Nextel’s iDEN at the same time as it was offering WiMax, in association with Clearwire, and planning to build an LTE network.
By consolidating networks Sprint expects to add net economic value for the company from reduced roaming costs, cell site reduction, backhaul efficiencies, more efficient use of capital, and energy savings.
Sprint intends to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network with the objective of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds for customers.
The iDEN technology was invented by Motorola in the days when it was one of the leading developers of mobile telecoms. When Nokia Siemens Networks bought the network equipment business of Motorola in 2011, iDEN was excluded from the deal. GTB
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