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Sprint CEO: iDEN Network to Be Shuttered

Article Comments  34  

Oct 27, 2010, 11:33 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Oct 27, 2010, 11:40 AM

Speaking in an interview with Fierce Wireless, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that the company eventually plans to shut down the iDEN wireless network that it acquired with the purchase of Nextel in 2004. "Over time, we'll have fewer and fewer customers on the iDEN network," he said. "That allows us to use some of that capacity on the network that is freed up and use it for CMDA. It's a gradual process. There will be an end date for all 2G, just like there was an end date for 1G." Hesse didn't say when the shut down would start or when it would finish. Sprint hasn't decided exactly what it will do with the vacated 800MHz spectrum once iDEN is turned off, but said one possibility will be to use it to deploy CDMA 1x Advanced for voice services. Speaking of Sprint's 4G plan, it said that for now it is sticking with "Plan A" — its partnership with Clearwire. However, it does have a "Plan B" option should WiMax not work out. Hesse didn't elaborate.

more info at Fierce Wireless »



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This forum is closed.


Oct 28, 2010, 2:40 AM


Why does Nextel suck so bad in the USA? I mean like down in Peru it rocks, I love it. The phones they have suck, but the service rocks, I mean they even have data cards for Nextel down there in Peru (I imagine most of South America is roughly the same with the service) which offer pretty decent internet service...

Why couldn't they do the same in the States? Why did they leave the service get soooo outdated and slow? Does Sprint even own Nextel International Services?

I'm using Cricket right now because I work in San Diego and it's cheap, but we have a Boost Mobile that we use to talk to my wife's family in Peru from Cali and Baja California (we live in Tijuana) and it rocks. I'll be sad when that no longer exists, I'll probably have t...
fist use skype to do it cheap and as a sprint rep i gotta say nextel isnt selling and that is why i see why in peru it rocks but in the states its about having the biggist and baddist and fastest phone even if they dont need it , how many times i ask...
RE: "Why does Nextel suck so bad in the USA?"

It's simply because Sprint bought Nextel just to take over the spectrum that Nextel owned.

Sprint employees nearly all hate Nextel, so they not only do not promote it, they actively try to make it go...

Oct 27, 2010, 2:39 PM

true customer numbers via yahoo finance

48.8 million customers as of 3rd quarter

26.6 million cdma
6.1 million iden
440000 hybrid
11.6 million prepaid (7.1 cdma, 4.5 million iden)
4.1 wholesale and affliates CDMA
26.6 million on Sprint (CDMA)


33+ million on T-Mobile

If they didn't consider Nextel the "same" network T-Mobile would claim the #3 title.
why pay more for less when you can pay LESS for MORE(sprint) Very Happy

Oct 29, 2010, 7:36 PM

iden devices..

they should of kept their powersourse devices. sprint cellphone and iden walkie talkie. the problem is that the iden network has become slower and slower and to that addition not enough towers

Oct 27, 2010, 6:30 PM

Plan B--

more like "bail-out" Razz

RE: "Plan B = panic!"


Oct 27, 2010, 6:50 PM

Good Riddence

Good! Now I don't have to hear the loud mouthed rednecks in the grocery store talking to each other (both sides of the conversation volume up all the way) because they are to lazy to dial..
Yes, those types of users are truly annoying and completely inconsiderate, and they make even Nextel fans like me cringe.

In fairness to Nextel, they made the phones extremely easy to switch into "quiet mode" using the Smart Key right there on top ...

Oct 28, 2010, 11:30 AM

there is nothing really wrong with iDEN

other than the fact we don't do anything with it. the phones are solid (seriously, Motorola devices are nearly invincible and the reception is unparalleled), the coverage is pretty widespread, and PTT is a very useful feature for people who use their Nextel phone for work.

but I am not surprised to see this happening. they didn't bother to train me on iDEN devices when I came here last December and the few reps that do handle those phones aren't exactly dealing with high call volume.

Oct 27, 2010, 3:35 PM

What happened to all the iDen Fan boyz?

What ever happened to all the die hard fan boyz n girlz?
Just gave up like the CEO did on your tech? Laughing
Wouldn't necessarily call myself a fanboy, but their network is seriously the best in my area. And I mean the best, I have an AT&T Curve8900 and my friends on Verizon can't make calls at my house and Sprint CDMA network doesn't work either. I just lik...
RE: "Just gave up like the CEO did on your tech?"

That's pretty much it. It's been like trying to hold back the ocean with a teaspoon, and I guess all the Nextel fans are just plain tired out.

Oct 27, 2010, 12:49 PM

Thank you, Sprint!

As a Customer Care and Premier representative, I can say that the iDEN network alone has been the cause of more problems and complaints than any other type of issue (even billing).

This will save both customers and employees a lot of hassle, and will bring improvement to Sprint's overall scores now that they will be judged based on the far superior (compared to iDEN) CDMA network.

Good move, Sprint.
Great move on Sprint's behalf. Easier for reps to help customers. Very Happy

Oct 27, 2010, 8:39 PM

I will be one of the few to miss iden when its gone.

yea that's good news for all of you nextel haters but why do some ppl have to downsize nextel as if its all bad. No phone carriers are p
erfect, yes even sprint isn't. I personally believe Nextel iden could have been updgraded but now they are just going to pull the plug. Especially now I'm seeing a small light with its first android phone. Oh well long live iden or I'll just say r.i.p.

Oct 27, 2010, 7:55 PM


After these comments by Dan Hesse, I wonder if Motorola is happy considering they just sold off all their gear units except IDEN.

Oct 27, 2010, 3:17 PM

Am I the only one?

Am I the only one who is sad to see iDEN go? Let me explain myself. I have been a Sprint customer for about 5 years now and have used many different CDMA handsets through the years. Recently for some reason I have had many signal issues around my house and at work and Sprint has not fixed the issues I have complained about yet. They sent me an Airave, and that gave me signal, but it drops calls every 3 to 5 minutes. Useless. After switching to some old Nextel phones my friend had laying around, I now get full signal at work and full signal at home (where I used to get 1 bar roaming and maybe 2 or 3 bars roaming all the time on Sprint CDMA) and I have yet to drop any calls on Nextel. True, data speeds are pathetic, but for calls and texting, ...
I loved my Nextel phones, they were great for talking and PTT. But then I moved and in my area both of Sprint's networks suck so I went back to T-Mobile. I am sad to see iDEN go, but I knew it was going to happen sooner than later.

Oct 27, 2010, 12:11 PM

About effing time...

iDEN is probably the biggest reason Sprint as a company hasn't performed well. Think about it, if you had an iDEN phone and all your buddies on Sprint and Verizon have these quick smartphone and you have PTT...sweet. Chances are, you're not going to look at Sprint, but instead your buddy's network. Sprint may have taken a hit, but a good thing would have been to allow anyone on Nextel the ability to upgrade to a Sprint phone no matter where they were on their contract.

But hey, at least they get the picture now. iDEN had no real future...
made sense to me

Oct 27, 2010, 12:50 PM


The best thing about iDEN was the PTT IMO.
when that first came out it was great but not its just "in the way".

there may be a little more use for that in the future but not much..Dan in stuck on WIMAX tho.

I think plan "B" has something to do with T-Mobile Confused

Oct 27, 2010, 11:57 AM

Very Good News!

Since most of the churning has been on the iden side of the company, it is always wise to disperse the contributing factor.

I loved PTT, but traveling over to the CDMA side, brought far too many more advantages to Today's needs.

Those that moved on from Nextel without trying Sprint's CDMA network lost out on what I believe is a great experience.

I have faith Sprint will use the 800Mhz spectrum very wisely to accommodate their subscribers and any new subscribers.

John B.
iDont Care

Oct 27, 2010, 11:54 AM

Death to iDEN!!!!

It's about time. Would be nice to free up that precious 800Mhz and put it to good use! I was thinking LTE though but it seems Dan is still hellbent on WiMax

Oct 27, 2010, 11:46 AM

its on

like donkey kong Surprised
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