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Thread: Nextel iDEN: Life On A Dying Network

  1. #31
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    OP here.

    As sand n suds intimated, this is a tough idea to make a series of. The diminished visibility of the iDEN network to our audience at Pocketnow has been a challenge, as well; it's just not a big enough story to push effectively for, so I'm not sure when or if Part II will ever land. I'm sure I'll write a piece for D-Day in June, though.

    Came back here in search of the iDEN-to-CDMA handset incentives the company is offering; delighted to see a thread I started is now one of the few remaining alive in the Nextel forum. I realized tonight that it's been ten years since I joined HoFo. Incredible to see the time pass, especially here in PTT-land. Bittersweet.

  2. #32
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    Re: Nextel iDEN: Life On A Dying Network

    The other day I found my first NV site (posted pics in the Sprint forum) -- and didn't notice until today that they also pulled down the panels for the neighboring Nextel site as well.

    What is aggravating is that in this particular area, the Nextel site was on a tall tower on top of a hill, along with Verizon, ATT and USCC. PCS and T-Mobile share the tower at ground level, more than 600 feet lower than the others. Guess which site got NV?

    At least in this area (and in many rural areas as well) Nextel seemed to site their panels much higher and more aggressively than SPCS, which went for lower sites along the highways.

    It baffles me that Sprint didn't more thoroughly combine the maps and then really pick the "best" sites between the two and put the NV on whichever site was better from a coverage perspective (and picking whatever one was "easier" for whatever reason only in areas where they were on the same tower or very near each other around the same height). As it sits, only around 100 Nextel sites (that weren't part of the first round synergy sites) are getting NV treatment. If they have to upgrade the backhaul to a site regardless, and install/de-install most all the equipment, I don't see how it was so terribly much more expensive to use more Nextel sites, particularly when the big 2 (and USCC--who tends to build many of their towers from scratch) are able to get backhaul and equipment to the same locations.

    As it sits, it looks like they took the PCS map, said "lets upgrade that" then picked a few random Nextel sites in more contentious areas that probably had much better lease deals or less NIMBY issues and just went with it.

    If they really cared about their PTT business, you'd think they would have done everything they could to ensure the coverage would be similar. In this particular area, the Nextel site in question provided coverage to all areas around the hill--where the PCS site has a huge shadow to the north due to the same hill and gives 1-2 bars of service on the north side, while Nextel had full signal all the way around. I can think of at least 5 areas off the top of my head that are similar.

    Unless I am totally missing something regarding a major expense of putting the same gear/ordering the same backhaul to a Nextel site vs. a PCS site, I just dont get it. One site has to get new gear/backhaul and the other gets taken down... In both cases the legacy gear also gets pulled down. What am I missing?

    Nat

    Sent from my XT897 using HowardForums

  3. #33
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    wheres the website of the map that shows the Nextel towers being shut down? i used the map before but forgot whats it called

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket101 View Post
    wheres the website of the map that shows the Nextel towers being shut down? i used the map before but forgot whats it called
    It was taken down not too long after they launched it..they were losing customer like crazy and other carriers were taking advantage of the site showing customers they would be losing service/coverage.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzookid View Post
    Got a letter the other day saying they're upping my nextel plan by $10 bucks in 2013. Have had it for over 12 years. Makes me ready to try pay as you go plans (probably PagePlus). Anyone else get a letter?
    Yes, I have gotten a couple of the letters, one said Janaury bill and the other said a February bill.
    No thank you for being a long time customer. Under my dads account June of 2000 to September 2003 and my account from September 2003 going strong still.
    Nextel Nutt

  6. #36
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    I will be down with Nextel til its dead in the ground.

    I will be down with Nextel til its dead in the ground. I remember being on here so far back that even talking about unlocking a Boost phone to use Nextel in it would get you banned. I have been hacking Nextel all the way back to the i95cl. It has been a fun road and deserves a lot more respect than Sprint has given it. SDC hasn't become what Nextel was.

    With that said, I hope Sprint would bring the old Nextel towers back with CDMA because what they have where I live does not cut it.

  7. #37
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    Wow, I have been here a long time. Ten years and eleven days just here on Hofo alone.
    How time flies.

  8. #38
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    Captain2Phones, thanks for keeping the light on. I know the series is hard to do but it's kind of a curiosity at this point. I don't get why Sprint isn't going to PTT over LTE. That's really really odd.

    I understand why Sprint wouldn't want to run two networks and want to consolidate everything on better tech. I still wish Sprint would come up with PTT over LTE in a way that works. I'm kind of curious to see how AT&T's solution works.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    What is aggravating is that in this particular area, the Nextel site was on a tall tower on top of a hill, along with Verizon, ATT and USCC. PCS and T-Mobile share the tower at ground level, more than 600 feet lower than the others. Guess which site got NV?
    You wrote a similar post on S4GRU. I do not recall whether I responded to that post, but I will respond here.

    You greatly oversimplify the situation. Putting the Network Vision infrastructure up high on the legacy Nextel iDEN site would not necessarily be better; in fact, it could make coverage quality worse.

    iDEN deployment follows a frequency reuse pattern. In other words, nearby sites/sectors do not use the same channels. But CDMA2000 and LTE follow unity frequency reuse. The same channels are used on all sites/sectors.

    Unity frequency reuse requires careful interference management because all sites inherently interfere with their neighbor sites to some degree. A site that is too tall may provide broader coverage, but it also may reduce data speeds due to the increased interference it creates in surrounding cells.

    In short, Sprint has legitimate reasons for not retaining many of the legacy Nextel iDEN sites. Some of those reasons are related to costs, some to logistics, others to RF planning, etc.

    Does that make sense?

    AJ

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    [I]t seems that here in NYC ,some iDEN towers have gone down because of Hurricane Sandy.I called customer service and they claim that they will be repairing those towers by Dec 28th.I did get $100.00 credit on my bill.its funny that before the hurricane,i had better iDEN coverage in that location that Sprint CDMA.Now both networks are horrible, and they want me to switch my lines to SDC???.In Manhattan Beach, brooklyn which was hard hit by the hurricane I saw a mobile ATT cell tower on a truck.i am considering moving all my lines to another carrier now.
    Leaving Brooklyn? FUGGEDDABOUDDIT!

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    blackberry 9620 is a new device for ptt

  12. #42
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    Nextel iDEN: Life On A Dying Network

    In Chicago, AT&T is pushing ePTT hard. Lots of advertising up there especially on Chicago radio stations.
    Have you read the forum rules lately?

  13. #43
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    Not having had Nextel since 2004, the company I now work for does. Will be an interesting thing to see how this all pans out. Nextel apparently has more towers and better coverage out here than Sprint does. I have Sprint and my phone roams all the time and has poor signal in many areas we serve. The old *** Nextel i335s we have at work, work almost everywhere.

    Our business is Medical Supply with delivery and setup for Medicare and Hospice. We rely on solid PTT service and phone service to communicate with dispatch and contact patients in the field. So far, nobody at work seems to pay much attention to my warnings of the switch over. Someone is gonna be pissed when we don't have PTT in half or more of our service area. Insofar as I know, PTT is going to use Sprint's 3G data connection, while all the Nextel towers go dark, right? If that is the case, Sprint may lose the company I work for. The data here S-U-C-K-S except in Laughlin, in the middle of the night.

    I didn't com here to rant or troll. To me, underdogs are compelling and worth rooting for. I am riding out the crappy service in anticipation of NV and eventual improvement. Just thought a viewpoint from someone who uses both sides of Sprint/Nextel in a semi rural area was worth writing. Looks like we'll be riding it till the end!

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    I agree, majority of the farmers and their help in my area "lived" by Nextel PTT. The new CDMA PTT is bad, my 3 year old (beat to death) i335 is much better than the Kyocera's they are using (is it the Kyocera's or the cdma?).

    Sprint has in my opinion screwed themselves by downgrading their PTT. Nextel had something that none of the other carriers offered, "PTT". Others tried Altel, Verizon tried but Nextel owned that segment. It was used by business's, truckers, police and local municipalities. Best of all you had to use Nextel to communicate on PTT. I see AT&T is trying to get into the gap left by Sprint.

    I will stay with iden till the end...

  15. #45
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    Re: Nextel iDEN: Life On A Dying Network

    ...and that right there is the issue. I don't particularly think that QChat2 is "bad" per se... at work we used Motorola V950's for a while (QChat1) and after some initial firmware updates, they weren't too bad.

    The issue is that I am in a fairly good CDMA area. Generally speaking, Nextel sited their towers up high on the hills vs. Sprint that sited their towers down along the freeways--creating a situation in which Nextel generally had overall wider coverage and Sprint relied on roaming--it wasn't even due to 1900 vs. 800 since due to IDEN error correction, Nextel needed to site their towers similar to 1900. From a physical number of sites perspective, Nextel didn't really have a ton more than Sprint.

    The big issue is that in planning Network Vision, Sprint didn't really take this into account--they figured "well, Qchat2 works while roaming and now has 3x the coverage of IDEN" without taking into effect the really annoying things like your phone hanging on to a useless CDMA signal before it decides to roam--or no handoffs between native and roaming during calls--or trying to use PTT over 1x while roaming.

    It's like they looked at the existing CDMA map and said "let's just use that one!" Rather than really looking over their combined network coverage maps and saying "Well, this Nextel site is on a hill that is 800 feet higher than the CDMA site at the bottom of the hill. If we convert the Nextel site and decommission the CDMA site, it will cover 4x the ground with only 1 site"--or the reverse in the situations where CDMA had the better site. Also it seems no one bothered to look at the map beforehand and say "If we're going to convert an entire network of IDEN users to CDMA, let's make sure and put CDMA on all the sites where Nextel has coverage and Sprint doesn't--that way when they move over the coverage will be exactly the same--and they'll also be able to have roaming coverage in areas they used to get no service--all while decreasing roaming costs since we'll cover more ground and existing PCS users will not have to roam as much".

    I have friends that recently converted 5 lines and ran into exactly this... used to have 3 bars of IDEN service and now have a useless 0 bars of CDMA because IDEN is on a hill and CDMA was near the freeway. It's "just" enough that the CDMA phones won't roam and they were furious... I mentioned the Airave to them and that has helped the issue--but Sprint left a bad taste in their mouth--the rep never even mentioned the Airave, did not indicate the network was any different on coverage, and promised them how much better the service would be--plus didn't even offer them a free Admiral (they were on i1's) or any "deals" to move over--they called and said "You need to come into a store and swap phones NOW if you don't want to lose your service". They also said if they wanted an Admiral they'd have to pay a new PTT fee that they never had before. They ended up abandoning PTT and paid $99 each for iPhone 4S's and are quite ticked at Sprint. These people used to preach about Nextel since the late 90's and how "yes, it doesn't roam--but if I looked on the map and saw coverage, I knew exactly where my phone would work--and it worked exactly the way they said it would every time. I don't want a fancy phone--the damn thing just works."

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