Nextel iDEN to be shuttered to free up 4G wireless spectrum
Sprint Nextel on Tuesday reported that will begin phasing out the Nextel network as early as June 30, 2013. While the long-term plan had already been announced, Tuesday marked the first time that actual dates for shutdown had been discussed. This move will eliminate the signature walkie-talkie feature of Nextel phones. Sprint has already begun adding phones with a similar push-to-talk feature, with other connectivity technologies replacing the bandwidth-heavy iDEN in an effort to discourage push-to-talk users from leaving the network..
Transition set for 2014
Sprint is reportedly set to reallocate its 800MHz spectrum to be used for 4G LTE network technology. The company currently uses its 800MHz block for the aging iDEN standard, which is utilized for push-to-talk devices, however network operations president Steve Elfman claims the band eventually will be used for LTE, according to quotes posted by FierceWireless.
Titanium confirmed at Sprint on July 24 for $150
Wireless provider Sprint has now confirmed it will indeed begin selling the rugged Motorola Titanium handset on July 24, as reported earlier. The phone, a rebadged version of the Droid Pro, will cost $150 on a two-year contract, but after a $100 mail-in rebate. It meets military-spec 810G standards for ruggedness and has push-to-talk iDEN network support, becoming the first Android 2.1-powered handset to do so in the process.
Rugged Titanium coming to Sprint this month
Shipping details for the Motorola Titanium introduced at the start of May have now been revealed thanks to a leaked flyer from SprintFeed. The handset arrives on July 24 at Sprint and carries a $150 price tag on a two-year contract. The handset's known claims to fame include military-spec 810G ruggedness certification and push-to-talk iDEN network support.
Sprint to slowly phase out iDEN network: Hesse
Sprint will gradually phase out its iDEN network, the carrier's CEO Dan Hesse said in an interview with FierceWireless. As customers sign up for Sprint's CDMA network rather than iDEN, the closure of the latter will free up the 800MHz iDEN frequency. Sprint acquired iDEN as part of its purchase of Nextel back in 2004, and shuttering it would push everyone to upgrade to phones that use Sprint's EVDO-based 3G network for push-to-talk.
Android phone geared for business use
Electronista stopped by Motorola's booth to get a closer look at the new i1 push-to-talk handset. The housing is sealed to protect against water and dust, while rubber lining along the edges helps prevent damage from light impacts. Despite the rugged protection, the device still maintains the overall look of Motorola's Cliq XT handset.
Push-to-talk Android handset
Detailed specs have emerged for Motorola's upcoming Opus One push-to-talk Android handset, according to the Boy Genius Report. The device reportedly features Wi-Fi connectivity and a 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with 320x480 resolution, while the Android 1.5 OS is powered by a "Zeus" CPU. Motorola also integrates an accelerometer, proximity sensor, and dual microphones to help reduce background noise.
Sprint to sell iDEN net?
In spite of promises to the contrary earlier this year, Sprint is indeed looking to sell its iDEN push-to-talk network, according to CNBC. Although no sources have been cited by the TV network, Sprint is already said to be negotiating with NII Holdings for a deal, as well as with separate private equity investors. NII operates primarily in Latin American countries, and is one of the few companies outside of Sprint to rely on iDEN.
Sprint sells 3,330 towers
National carrier Sprint has signed a deal to sell a massive number of cellular towers, according to an announcement. The company says it is selling approximately 3,300 towers to TowerCo, a deal that should gain Sprint about $670 million in cash. Because the company still needs the towers to maintain coverage, it has arranged a licensing deal with TowerCo that will see it provide CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX support in exchange for a regular leasing fee.
BlackBerry 8350 for iDEN?
The next BlackBerry for Sprint's iDEN push-to-talk network will be a Curve phone, called the 8350, a report claims. Although Sprint announced in February that it would receive a new iDEN BlackBerry, it has otherwise kept quiet on the issue, leaving most information to media leaks and speculation. The new device is expected to help revive Sprint's struggling iDEN network, whose most recent BlackBerry is the outdated 7100i.
FCC Stays Nextel Handover
The US Federal Communications Commission today said it has reached an agreement with Sprint that will give the cellular company extra time to give up using some of the channels it relies upon for its Nextel-born iDEN network. The company had previously been required to clear out some frequencies by June 26th to prevent interference for new public safety services but has now been given an indefinite but conditional grant to continue using some of its push-to-talk network channels until they become necessary.
Sprint holds on to Nextel
Sprint is currently facing a heavy decision on what to do with the Nextel network, whether it should continue to invest in it, turn it into a standalone company, or simply cease operating the Nextel brand altogether. MocoNews writes that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse recently gave a bit of insight to shareholders, saying that he does not see the iDEN network (which currently is only in use by Sprint) disappearing in the near future, and insists it is the best primary choice for network service. Hesse expects that Motorola would continue to support the technology, even with the company's current wireless problems.
New Nextel BlackBerry
The CEO of Sprint, Dan Hesse, has announced a new BlackBerry phone for the company's iDEN network, reports say. Sprint inherited the network when it acquired Nextel, but has long been accused of neglecting it, despite it having once had widespread popularity with taxi and construction companies, thanks to push-to-talk support. According to Hesse, the new iDEN BlackBerry is expected "later this year," and will have Wi-Fi -- a feature effectively absent from other iDEN options.
Sprint to continue iDEN
Sprint will not only continue to support its iDEN network, it will attempt to breathe more life into it, the company's CEO says. Rumors have persisted that the company would shut down its push-to-talk technology, which was inherited through the purchase of Nextel and was once in widespread use with the likes of construction firms and taxi companies. Although iDEN devices are still used by millions of Sprint/Nextel subscribers, the Associated Press notes that business and technical issues -- namely dropped, blocked or garbled calls -- have led thousands of people to cancel their accounts.
Sprint nabs Motorola i570
Sprint/Nextel has adopted a new Motorola phone, meant for use on its Direct Connect iDEN network. Direct Connect lets users treat phones as a walkie-talkie, with the added benefit of being able to send pictures and contact information. Linking into Group Connect, users can talk to a host of people scattered across the US. The phone is the i570, a clamshell with both internal and external screens, mainly designed to be extremely rugged -- it meets the MIL-SPEC 810F standard, certifying a base amount of protection against dust, shocks and vibration.