Sprint Nextel Corp.
) is all set to achieve its goal of terminating integrated
digital enhanced network (iDEN) network at the end of Jun 2013,
as scheduled almost a year earlier. With this move, the company
aims to concentrate on the core Sprint platform, which includes
CDMA, WiMAX, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and other network
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Jun 29 is the last day when customers will be able to avail the
iDEN service, with the shutdown scheduled to start from the next
day. All iDEN voice and data services including 911 calls will be
stalled and Sprint will close down switch locations in addition
to powering down equipment and removing backhaul from each cell
In order to avoid last minute migration hassle, Sprint has urged
users of iDEN Nextel National Network to transfer their
connections as soon as possible. The company via customer
letters, legal notifications, email reminders as well as text
messages has been consistently notifying customers about the
Customers can shift from iDEN to Sprint's IP-based Direct Connect
service and experience triple push-to-talk coverage,
international direct connect reach to Latin American nations and
3G broadband data capabilities. The connectivity also offers more
business applications, faster social media accessibility and
potential push-to-X capabilities on broadband CDMA network.
The elimination of the Nextel platform is part of the Network
Vision plan. Over the past few years, Sprint has been struggling
to integrate its CDMA mobile network with Nextel's iDEN wireless
network (acquired in 2005), resulting in high subscribers losses
to other prominent market players like
). Management believes the wiping of Nextel platform will provide
immediate savings from utilities and maintenance, and additional
savings from tower rent going forward.
As part of the Network Vision strategy, Sprint targets to speed
up its roll out of LTE services and utilize the 800 MHz iDEN
spectrum for its 4G LTE network, which currently operates with
1900 MHz holdings. Apart from cost saving benefits, this program
will enhance the company's operations through cell site
reduction, backhaul efficiencies, better use of capital and
Sprint - which is competing with
Dish Network Corp.
) for the acquisition of broadband provider Clearwire Corporation
- currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).