I'd hope this kind of news isn't coming as a surprise to anyone. While all other networks/carriers are moving forward, the iDen network and Boost iDen/Nextel are going nowhere quite quickly. The i1 didn't drum up nearly the response that Android phones on other carriers do, and rightfully so--a big touchscreen phone is a data centric phone, not voice centric...and iDen data, well, I think we all know the facts there... Consumers today aren't anywhere near as concerned about PTT as they were before the days of giant touchscreens, video calling, and HD quality video on their phones.
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Sprint should position the Boost Mobile iDen service where it would have the greatest opportunity for success. A Value Voice Service competing against companies like Tracfone. A Boost Mobile Unlimited Talk service option on the iDen network and within the $25 - $30 monthly price point would capture market share from companies like tracfone and the regional carriers like metropcs and cricket. Not all wireless subscribers are seeking data and/or messaging options, Tracfone has over 15 Million subscribers that are not interested in those advanced service options. With Sprint's iDen Network continuously bleeding subscribers because of their underperforming data and limited messaging capabilities, it might be best for Sprint's Boost Mobile iDen service to focus their efforts in competing for customers that are not seeking messaging and data options. If Sprint can flood the market with inexpensive (entry level) devices such as the i290/i296/i410 at sub $20 price points they might be able to start showing gains on the iDen network once again. A $30 Unlimited Talk plan along with a $19.95 i290 or i410 phone might work.
Operating without a contract makes you far more valuable.
1) iDen is a technological dead end. There's no arguing there- it's an old, inefficient network that has crappy data capabilities.
2) That having been said, the iDen network is paid off and running below capacity. For the cost of maintenance, there's a reliable nationwide network available for voice/text customers.
3) Sprint isn't going to spend money to change that unless it makes sense to. 800mhz coverage for CDMA customers is one reason why they might want to migrate away from iDen- but the iDen SMR licenses are specific in terms of requiring a trunked radio network, and Sprint would need a waiver to deploy conventional CDMA technology.
4) The main reason to repurpose iDen would be if sprint needed the spectrum for growth. Sprint has more spectrum than any of the other wireless companies right now, even without their 2.5ghz Wimax network. Sprint is sitting on a freaking ton of bandwidth.
5) So, put all this together, and I think Sprint's gonna keep on offering an unlimited product on iDen at a low price point in order to monetize the cheap infrastructure, slowly migrate Nextel subscribers over to CDMA/Wimax, and eventually kill iDen. But I'd bet money you won't see the end of iDen until Sprint starts deploying the first 5G network in the US...
All this is is a consolidation to make a more efficient cell site setup. It will reduce their sites by about a third according to the numbers but appears to be setup to give about the same amount of coverage.
This might be possible with cdma. Iden, Idk for sure.
Iden Boost basically began the point of Sprint's subscriber loss turnaround and led directly to the current prepaid wireless landscape. Iden Boost basically saved Sprint's butt.
(They were going to dump their entire iden network in 2008 before the great October stock market crashed rendered that impossible and through a combination of genius and desperation hit on Boost unlimited everything for $50).
With Motorola now with no cell phone capability in the cdma/gsm area (sold to Nokia), iden remains its one area of wireless technology. They will be eventually affected by this too.
The days of iden as a mainstream technology are going to pass but it still has some life left in it, as long in the tooth as it is.
Moto and Sprint owe it a debt of gratitude for making them money when they needed it the most.
The entire prepaid industry has been completely changed because of Boost iden.
And the necessary Federal and corporate partner approvals and agreements/accords still haven't been reached yet despite what Sprint wants to do so it isn't going to happen right away.
Sprint has done a lot of things but one thing it has virtually ignored is a real attempt to retain Nextel Postpaid iden customers. Most of their postpaid users leaving have always been iden postpaid users, not postpaid cdma and not iden prepaid.
Chalk it up to their marketing dept. and customer retention areas for being weak in that.
A concerted effort to shore up their industrial/commercial base core which relies heavily on iden , new plans, better subsidies on devices, etc . probably wouldn't hurt their postpaid numbers.
Most individuals who still use Nextel postpaid in my market do so because their company is paying for their iden line , not because they so to chose it.
I'd guess most would pick a cdma or gsm personal option if it hadn't been the case of them working for someone who requires iden/ptt for their work (which they can use for personal too).
Yeah. Sprint should thank the stars for iden. It's directly because of Boost Mobile iden that their real turnaround finally started (and launched the current prepaid mobile revolution , especially with unlimited plans).
Sprint got their money's worth out of iden (as much screwing up as they did). It's got a lot of years left (at least as a PTT bastion if not data), but you know Sprint, half the time they don't know what the hell they're doing and the other half of the time they just get lucky.
We'll see where this all goes..after the better part of a decade. LOL.
And once again Sprint had to mess with the flow and cause confusion by sticking boost cdma back in the game ,pull Iden stock and what immediately happened . The Growth slowed to the marginal lower level since the boost 50plan came out. The chirp was on a way back fast.
Its dumb Boost is offering the same Blackberry that Cricket has but isn't willing to explore bringing the 8350i to Boost Iden.
Its also dumb they won't allow us to extend the ringtime like Nextel customers are allowed to. Iden does not interface well with 3G networks the call setup takes forever & its very critical we have this extra ringtime so our calls don't go right to missed.