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Sprint Shutting Down Nextel Network in 2013

By - Source: Sprint Nextel | B 23 comments

Sprint is finally shutting down the iDEN Nextel network.

On Tuesday Sprint announced that it plans to shut down the iDEN Nextel National Network as early as June 30, 2013, cutting off service for its push-to-talk Nextel phones. The move is part of the company's overall Network Vision plan which is a series of network updates designed to offer next generation network capabilities to customers.

According to Sprint, the Nextel network is being deactivated to make room for more 4G coverage. It's a mere second-generation (aka 2G) network that is unsuitable for smartphones thanks to its low data speeds. However, surprisingly there were 5.4 million phones still active on the Nextel network at the end of March.

Over the last eight months, Sprint has been pushing to transition business and government customers away from the Nextel phones to the Sprint Direct Connect 3G CDMA network by offering four new rugged handsets catering to the push-to-talk crowd. These include the Kyocera DuraMax, Kyocera DuraCore, Kyocera DuraPlus and the Motorola Admiral.

"Sprint will send written notices to business and government customers beginning June 1, 2012 regarding the iDEN Nextel National Network shutdown," Sprint said. "The company will continue to notify customers of favorable offers designed to facilitate a smooth migration to Sprint Direct Connect®. Additional notices are planned for distribution to the iDEN base multiple times over the next year as the shutdown of the iDEN Nextel National Network becomes more imminent."

Sprint also said on Tuesday that it has been approved for a $1 billion line of credit to build out the new 4G network. The credit line is being offered by a syndicate of banks led by Deutsche Bank AG of Germany for equipment purchases from LM Ericsson AB of Sweden. The credit line is backed by the Swedish government's export credit fund because one of Sprint's main vendors is LM Ericsson AB.

"The secured credit facility expires in March 2017 and benefits from a cost of funding of approximately 6 percent provided by AB Svensk Exportkredit and comprehensive insurance cover from EKN, the Swedish Export Credit Agency. Deutsche Bank acted as one of the Mandated Lead Arrangers and as Facility Agent," the company said.

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  • -5 Hide
    jn77 , May 29, 2012 9:36 PM
    The problem is not Nextel, the problem is Sprint.
  • 4 Hide
    sirencall , May 29, 2012 9:56 PM
    SO this of course means cheaper data plans, right?

    No, of course not. We will have to pay more to for less as always.
  • 5 Hide
    raidenfox123 , May 29, 2012 9:56 PM
    Sprint has been nothing but great to me, I have been with them for years, note that they are the only big player that offers unlimited Data... Although WiMax was a complete failure I am glad that have decided to drop it in favor of a LTE 4G Network. There service is very reliable, and there prices are in my opinion one of the best
  • 0 Hide
    DroKing , May 29, 2012 10:08 PM
    I cant wait till my contract with Sprint is up this November because they are so overpriced. Im going for prepaid method which is 50 percent cheaper in all areas literally.
  • 5 Hide
    blakbird24 , May 29, 2012 10:12 PM
    All the US carriers suck, Sprint is simply the lesser evil (and even then only because of their prices and plans). It really is a shame that Sprint chose to let Nextel die rather than leverage a superior technology to gain an edge in the market. Oh well, ain't the first, won't be the last.
  • 0 Hide
    thillntn , May 29, 2012 10:48 PM
    I hate chrome support on this site,,,anyway lesser of 2 evils? I pay 10 bucks x2 for phones under contract for 4g that has never been offered in my area. ouch.
  • 3 Hide
    Shin-san , May 29, 2012 11:12 PM
    The best option would be to offer a free upgrade with a contract
  • 4 Hide
    blakbird24 , May 29, 2012 11:12 PM
    thillntnI hate chrome support on this site,,,anyway lesser of 2 evils? I pay 10 bucks x2 for phones under contract for 4g that has never been offered in my area. ouch.


    Well, you could be paying even more for LTE that you also can't ever use AAAAND data caps.
  • -1 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 12:21 AM
    look on your $print bill DUDE. It says for premium 4g coverage, NOT smartphone coverage. 3g users are penalized the same for 3g. I paid less for tmogul, I just couldn't accept their resolution when the sidekick servers crashed.
  • -1 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 12:27 AM
    it is labeled"premium data add on charge" on the bill.of which they have never offered in my area...the rep said it would be available in about a year...now that is a no go due to switch to lte. They better give me a free phone upgrade with new contract or I can buy a phone through a competitor and get a different cell plan...if $print don't trip and break a leg before then.
  • 1 Hide
    jerm1027 , May 30, 2012 12:55 AM
    thillntnI hate chrome support on this site,,,anyway lesser of 2 evils? I pay 10 bucks x2 for phones under contract for 4g that has never been offered in my area. ouch.

    If you read the contract, the $10 charge isn't for 4G, it's for all smartphones "due to their heavy data usage." 3G included. Still a slimmy trick, but they have to fund the complete and total overhaul to their network somehow... You should read the article about Sprint Vision. Essentially they are overhauling their network with modular towers (so they can run CDMA, WiMAX and LTE from the same tower instead of seperate towers, as well as plug in different technologies as needed) to lower maintanence and upkeep costs, and increase effeciency as well as bandwidth. They would rent out the excese bandwidth. HOPEFULLY this means lower prices and better coverage for Sprint subsrcibers a few years down the line.
  • 2 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 1:41 AM
    You work for Sprint? Please give me your rep ID so I can report how you talk to customers. We switched back to Sprint after being with t-mobile for 4 years. I had Sprint for 5 years before that, you do not need my thought on how bad their customer service was when I switched, they won the worst customer service award for it that year...around when Nextel was acquired. After the whole t-mobile issue, we switched back to Sprint. I cannot say that it has been stellar, but I can see how they have support issues if you think what you just said is acceptable in any way. I just did the math ...I pay 161 bucks for 1500 minutes and unlimited data text blah blah with Sprint. After fees I can get 1000 minutes on a family plan with free phones on a 2 year contract with t mobile with 2 gig cap and no overage fees for under 140 a month. Sprint has one or 2 bars at my home, and constantly falls off the network, whereas t mobile has 4g in my area now. I looked at my bill and we used 300 minutes of talk time and only 400 meg of data combined. so the logical thing would be to look at options when my contract expires in the next few months. Keep in mind that big corporations use software monitors to see posts about their company name, so the more times I say Sprint, the more they are likely to see this thread. Fighting on the internet is not my cup of tea, I just gave a logical post of my situation, now explain yours??
  • 2 Hide
    free_radical , May 30, 2012 2:07 AM
    jerm1027If you read the contract, the $10 charge isn't for 4G, it's for all smartphones "due to their heavy data usage." 3G included. Still a slimmy trick, but they have to fund the complete and total overhaul to their network somehow... You should read the article about Sprint Vision. Essentially they are overhauling their network with modular towers (so they can run CDMA, WiMAX and LTE from the same tower instead of seperate towers, as well as plug in different technologies as needed) to lower maintanence and upkeep costs, and increase effeciency as well as bandwidth. They would rent out the excese bandwidth. HOPEFULLY this means lower prices and better coverage for Sprint subsrcibers a few years down the line.


    It's possible to avoid the data charge if you are off-contract and your phone hasn't been subsidized by the carrier. You may have to demand very persistently, threaten to cancel, and speak with more than one manager before they cave, but there is a good chance that they will. This is the case with AT&T, anyway. They will disable your data completely and you won't be charged anything. My wife and I both have smartphones (iPhone 3GS and Samsung Focus) and they agreed to do it. Neither of us wants their overpriced spotty coverage. A mandatory data plan is one policy that never made any sense to me. How does owning a smartphone necessitate data usage? There are plenty of advantages to owning a smartphone that do not involve data usage.
  • -1 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 2:17 AM
    Exactly how old are you? I have been in the tech industry for 15 years. Do you cut yourself after throwing insults at people you don't know to make the pain go away? Internet tough guys are macho. LOL. Shame on me for only wanting to use what I paid for. Go ahead and tell the world how bright you are, we are all here listening, even Sprint :) .I paid money for a phone that had wimax coming in the future, which was disbanded and being replaced with LTE. Wimax is not going to be offered in my area, even after they pledged it. Go on, we all want to hear more from the great one.
  • 2 Hide
    beoza , May 30, 2012 2:29 AM
    I would personally have a prepaid phone such as those you can get from Boost (Sprint), Cricket, Straight Talk (Wal-Mart). It's much cheaper to have one of these phones, and many offer unlimited Talk, Text and web (although they are capped). Some of their phones are crippled offerings with lower specs than those offered by the big players like Sprint. But Sprint upgrading their network and dumping Nextel is a good idea if it is slower than even 3G. However I would love to see better coverage in all areas. Where my aunt lives in PA the big players suck and service is spotty but she gets coverage everywhere with her Straight Talk phone (makes no sense as it uses Verizon's towers). All of these Tel Co's need to work on their networks and CS.

    As for you whysobluepandabear if you work for Sprint you seriously need some time off, and anger management classes. Going off on someone, whether you work for them or not, in a forum post like that is not cool!
  • -1 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 2:32 AM
    Or is it...tough girl?
  • -1 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 2:50 AM
    beozaI would personally have a prepaid phone such as those you can get from Boost (Sprint), Cricket, Straight Talk (Wal-Mart). It's much cheaper to have one of these phones, and many offer unlimited Talk, Text and web (although they are capped). Some of their phones are crippled offerings with lower specs than those offered by the big players like Sprint. But Sprint upgrading their network and dumping Nextel is a good idea if it is slower than even 3G. However I would love to see better coverage in all areas. Where my aunt lives in PA the big players suck and service is spotty but she gets coverage everywhere with her Straight Talk phone (makes no sense as it uses Verizon's towers). All of these Tel Co's need to work on their networks and CS.As for you whysobluepandabear if you work for Sprint you seriously need some time off, and anger management classes. Going off on someone, whether you work for them or not, in a forum post like that is not cool!


    Thanks for the prepaid point of view. In my area, the cricket works great (I had it before sprint, was the old qualcomm bricks back in the day lol). Cricket now has plenty of data plans that are cheap and just as good as the big guys, IF you find a device that does your needs. Some phones can be reprogrammed for cricket, some can't. I guess it all boils down to what you can afford, and how much nonsense you are willing to put up with from the people you give money too.
  • -2 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 4:32 AM
    whysobluepandabearUm, that's not going off. If you wanna see going off, you haven't caught me on the right day - not even remotely. Telling someone to go F themselves, and go to a different company because needy, self entitled people like him are not wanted, isn't exactly going off. People like that, who demand free stuff and special services, think they're above the rest of us - they think they deserve special treatment, as if they're royalty. What makes him, or any other needy person more of a priority? Why can't he pay the same like the rest of us? Oh yeah, because he thinks he's somehow the exception. So yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm not into people like that. You're not a special snowflake, and you don't get special treatment just because mommy told you that you were her little prince. It doesn't matter if you live in Antarctica - if you signed and agreed to the terms, then you pay what you agreed to. Sprint never promised you 4G coverage - they especially didn't do it if you don't live in a MAJOR populated area. It's YOUR fault for not reading your contract - and it's YOUR fault for being misinformed and stupid. So go burden another company with wasted customer care support, and other freebies because you think you're somehow more important than the rest of their consumers.


    You have no skills with people, that is obvious. Is your last name Johnson? I would understand the Richard comments then. I pay my bill, on time every month. I also remember that both sides have an obligation, of which Sprint has not met(yet). I figured it was past your bedtime, it has been a while since you replied. We were all getting lonely. Do you have anything useful to add to this conversation, or are you going to just keep spouting out nonsense? Hey check Sprints stock lately? Or even their facebook page? Lot's of happy people there. I would think Sprint keeps you hidden away from the customers on the floor, you could lose them a lot of sales.
  • 0 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 5:11 AM
    More personal attacks, that is grand. No basis other than you hate your job apparently. The 10 dollar per line is my whole point...if you do the math that is 480 dollars for 2 lines on a 2 year contract.What did I get for that? The promise of a better network. Has that happened? No. These are true points that cannot be ignored, please leave the rational discussion up to adults. So after not being able to use the device on the "new network" the customer paid for, we are suppose to just sweep that under the rug? I don't see that happening. I do see a reasonable person talking to me when I go in to discuss my contract renewal(if I go that route). I can't believe someone would get on a forum and say they work for Sprint and act they way you have, you may not understand business ethics, but you are speaking for the company when you do that. I have been to the verizon store, I didn't buy their spill. I analyze and look at things, and when they are not met people go other places. You should be careful of your blood pressure, you could hurt yourself. Since you work for Sprint, and know what the game plan is, you tell me...are they expanding wimax still? are they going to LTE only with the nextel disbanded? What about all the 4g devices sold that will be in limbo? What is the game plan? Can you tell me anything about strategy or am i just to hear more name calling?
  • -1 Hide
    thillntn , May 30, 2012 5:57 AM
    whysobluepandabearYup, I enjoy it, so you better start digging a moat, because they're not going anywhere, anytime soon. The $10 is for DATA that smartphones consume at a much higher rate than traditional phones. It also allows us to keep everything unlimited. No throttle. No cap. How you're complaining is beyond me. It's also amazing how you don't qualify for a discount. Go join a damn credit union and you'll get 10% off every month, plus have the activation and upgrade fees waived. That's assuming you don't get a better one from your employer. Hell, go get a job at Burger King and quit - you'll get a 25% discount. Go work for Chase and get a 27% discount. I like how you bitch and moan about personal attacks, yet you try doing the same - but too bad I'll never complain about someone calling me a kid. Just don't carry around this whole "Holier than thou" type of complex, when you're being a hypocrite and are doing the same, snide remarks. All I ask is for you to shut up about how I supposedly call you names and "attack" you. You don't seem to understand....you're paying the $10 for data. Doesn't matter what speed it is. It is the ONLY national carrier with unlimited, unthrottled data. It's also the cheapest from a national carrier with that included. T-mobile may be the same, or cheaper in some areas, but they're not unlimited data - and are pretty moot, seeing as 2GB is a joke. You also must live in California, because only in California does T-mobile even have a decent playing field in terms of coverage. No, any intelligent person would see me as one rogue person, and not take me literally for how the company, as a whole, acts. It's amazing you don't see that - maybe It's because I'm telling you to go get lost. 115/65. I also don't have to get mad or irritated to talk to you like I currently am. I'm actually quite calm. I'm more relatable to the Hulk when I'm pissed - so you haven't seen anything yet - stop acting like I'm some raging lunatic; you're vastly underestimating and evaluating me - if I was raging, you'd know it. And no, they're not dumping anymore money into WiMax. If you're in a WiMax area, you'll still get coverage. Eventually, WiMax will follow in the iDEN footsteps. It'll be phased out, and everyone will smoothly transition - even be given opportunities and discounts to get off their WiMax device. They're actually going to support it for far longer than they probably should. This is common sense though, and anyone with a downie IQ could've said what I just did about the WiMax. Of course you're not going to be left in the dust, and the current devices probably won't even be around by the time they decide to turn it off (and I'm talking YEARS from now - probably 3 to be exact). By then, all the WiMax devices will have gotten out of most of the markets hands (Who really hangs onto a smartphone these days for more than they have to?) and they're not making anymore WiMax devices specifically - so if a phone is released, it's be a WiMax/LTE hybrid - but more than likely, just LTE. Any the good news: the WiMax network will be given a much needed alleviation - being much less congested, meaning faster speeds.


    Did you really type all that and only use one curse word? See we are making progress. I am sorry you have to get on the internet and yell at people you don't even know and call them bad names. You do seem to know something about your job, which could come in handy for you and others one day. I am definately not a holy roller, I find the whole thing comical myself. Do you not see the dillema customers could face from this changeover? Buying a 400 dollar phone is no biggy for me, I have used the one I have for almost 2 years now, and in the time it has been used and abused. Picking out a replacement phone after the contract runs out is trivial, my work, family, friends, home, everywhere I go has wifi. That is why my data usage is low...other plans allow this for much less now than Sprint. It will be interesting to see in the future where this goes price wise. I see plans becoming more competitive and the smaller providers being pushed out of the way. What good is truely unlimited if you can't get a signal to use it? interesting how other providers dont have the "premium data fee" separate on the bill.Verizon and att aren't really an option, they both nickel and dime you to death for every little thing.
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