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Thread: The bell tolls in 60 days...

  1. #1
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    Philadelphia The bell tolls in 60 days...

    Sprint on Schedule to Shut Down iDEN Network Within 60 Days
    OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), May 01, 2013 - Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that its plans to shut down the iDEN Nextel National Network remain on schedule for the end of June, as originally announced in May of last year.

    The last full day of iDEN service will be June 29; shutdown begins first thing Sunday, June 30, and will continue throughout the day. iDEN devices will then no longer receive voice service – including 911 calls – or data service. Sprint will shut down switch locations in rapid succession on June 30, followed by powering down equipment and eliminating backhaul at each cell site.

    Sprint announced plans on May 29, 2012 to cease service on the iDEN Nextel National Network as early as June 30, 2013, as part of its Network Vision plan – a series of network updates designed to offer next-generation network capabilities to customers.

    Since then, Sprint has been aggressively notifying customers to migrate from the iDEN Nextel National Network to avoid service disruptions. The notifications have included customer letters, legal notifications, and email reminders. Sprint added iDEN shutdown reminder text messages and will use other communications tactics during the network’s final days of operation.

    “Our shutdown communications are meant to give customers more than enough lead time to plan their migration,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president-Network. “This has been especially important for public safety, first responders, health care users and others who rely on the service to protect and preserve people’s lives. We strongly urge customers to migrate now, rather than wait until the last minute.”

    Customers who migrate to Sprint Direct Connect experience three times the push-to-talk coverage compared to iDEN, international direct connect reach to Latin American countries, and 3G broadband data capabilities.

    “Sprint Direct Connect is a gold standard in push-to-talk,” Azzi said. “It comes with the broadband capabilities that businesses and public safety pros need for business applications, social media, and future push-to-X capabilities on Sprint’s broadband CDMA network.”

    The transition of Sprint’s push-to-talk service from iDEN to CDMA is part of the company’s Network Vision plans. Network Vision is expected to add net economic value for Sprint from reduced roaming costs, cell site reduction, backhaul efficiencies, more efficient use of capital, and energy cost savings.
    \
    “Right now, I’m glad we have the iDEN network,” Hesse said. “I wouldn’t have said that 18 months ago, but I am now ... from a financial perspective.”

    NEXTEL. Done. I guess that's "Life at SprintSpeed"

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    Thank goodness!
    Thrill me...

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    A sad day indeed coming for such a great service.... RIP iDEN...

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    It was good for its time. Hopefully things for the PTT crowd improve once that spectrum can be re-purposed and PTT runs over LTE. The low latency of LTE should allow PTT run much smoother. PTT phones should be some of the first with LTE 800 as that should more closely match existing iDEN coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by country6925 View Post
    A sad day indeed coming for such a great service.... RIP iDEN...
    What are you using for data? That was never a strength of Nextel, and ultimately, it's fatal flaw.

    Direct Connect over 800 LTE is coming soon so I wouldn't fret it.
    Have you read the forum rules lately?

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    It's great that PTT over LTE is 'coming' but crazy that they are shutting down a system that works before its true successor is ready.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fraydog View Post
    What are you using for data? That was never a strength of Nextel, and ultimately, it's fatal flaw.

    Direct Connect over 800 LTE is coming soon so I wouldn't fret it.
    Sorry, I should have stated "a once-great service"...my bad. I still rock a featurephone (would love to get a smartphone but the better half won't allow it lol). If I can get the monthly price of a tetherable smartphone down below what I pay Comcast, we may just go that route. I still have a year left on my ATT contract, however. We shall see what develops in the wireless industry between now and then.

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    The bell tolls in 60 days...

    Quote Originally Posted by bmccull View Post
    It's great that PTT over LTE is 'coming' but crazy that they are shutting down a system that works before its true successor is ready.
    Sprint has no choice. The market has already ruled big time in favor of LTE. If Sprint made a mistake it was not shutting down IDEN soon enough and not getting an LTE capable successor out soon enough. Qualcomm is well on the way with SDC to make it LTE capable. To get it to be a compelling solution, as well as provide better data access for everyone else in building, Sprint has to finish getting this duplicate, proprietary system deep sixed.

    If only Sprint had gone forward with Network Vision sooner, this would have been less of a problem. The 800 MHz spectrum is critical. Sprint needs that spectrum for LTE. Simple as that. If you want to see what 800 MHz can do, grab a CDMA 800 MHz device in Chicago and see how the service can hold calls deep in buildings. Then add LTE over the same frequency. Finally throw a low latency (50 ms) QChat on top of LTE. Now you see what Sprint's strategy is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fraydog View Post
    ...
    If only Sprint had gone forward with Network Vision sooner, this would have been less of a problem. The 800 MHz spectrum is critical. Sprint needs that spectrum for LTE. Simple as that. If you want to see what 800 MHz can do, grab a CDMA 800 MHz device in Chicago and see how the service can hold calls deep in buildings. Then add LTE over the same frequency. Finally throw a low latency (50 ms) QChat on top of LTE. Now you see what Sprint's strategy is.
    That will be great if they can get SDC working properly over LTE, especially the 850 MHz LTE as you say. But given the struggles Sprint has had in getting closure on any of their network buildouts, and now with the distraction of the Softbank & Dish rival bids, is anyone in the know truly confident that Sprint will actually"get-er-done" WRT CDMA 3G and LTE buildouts? Does anyone know how much coverage the 850 MHz & 1900 MHz LTE will actually have?

    Given the spotty CDMA 3G coverage and slow data speed with Sprint's 3G I've experienced so far, I'm not terribly optimistic that Sprint's networks will ever catch up to Verizon's in our area, but having just signed a new 2-year contract, I have to remain hopeful.
    Last edited by SDC_01; 05-05-2013 at 10:53 PM. Reason: dropped a letter

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDC_01 View Post
    That will be great if they can get SDC working properly over LTE, especially the 850 MHz LTE as you say. But given the struggles Sprint has had in getting closure on any of their network buildouts, and now with the distraction of the Softbank & Dish rival bids, is anyone in the know truly confident that Sprint will actually"get-er-done" WRT CDMA 3G and LTE buildouts? Does anyone know how much coverage the 850 MHz & 1900 MHz LTE will actually have?

    Given the spotty CDMA 3G coverage and slow data speed with Sprint's 3G I've experienced so far, I'm not terribly optimistic that Sprint's networks will ever catch up to Verizon's in our area, but having just signed a new 2-year contract, I have to remain hopeful.
    Try being somewhere like Phoenix where people that go back and fourth to mexico refuse to let go of iDen. Sprint is at a point where they're just telling these people to just go somewhere else since they're loosing money keeping the network up for them.

    Sprint's PCS network has gotten a lot better as of late, but still needs improvement (although the Voice Quality has always been better than overcrowded Verizon)
    Left: Verizon Unlimited LTE, Right: WideOpenWest 500/50

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    I almost for that the iDEN shutdown was so close. That would explain the flood of soon to be useless iDEN phones on eBay.

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    I'm going to miss iDEN. It was lots of fun while it lasted. A remarkably reliable technology (even though it's hopelessly obsolete).

    Anyone remember the interference sounds it made in audio amplifiers? Everyone knows the "GSM buzz," but have you ever heard the "iDEN Buzz?"

    The last corporate iDEN customers I know are now actively switching their handsets to the CDMA solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E_tron View Post
    ...

    The last corporate iDEN customers I know are now actively switching their handsets to the CDMA solution.
    I wish them luck. We have found that when Sprint's CDMA-based DC is working, it works fine. The problem is, in our area it only works like it should about 50% of the time (i.e. whereas our Nextel iDEN DC as recently as March connected 100% of the time, our CDMA DC in the exact same areas connects reliably only about 50% of the time). Even with apparently solid 3G signal & decent voice signal strength bars, Sprint DC just refuses to connect, requires a restart of the phones to get it going again, then ten minutes later will refuse to DC again.

    Our home Airave2.5 is completely useless for Sprint Direct Connect, it's as if the Airave is designed to be "the anti Direct Connect", so we leave it off most of the time and just suffer with lousy Sprint native CDMA signal, and we use our DSL-based WiFi for data when at home.

    Per local Sprint store personnel, lots of unhappy Sprint Direct Connect corporate customers around here, one outfit with "a few hundred lines" switched from iDEN to CDMA and was so frustrated because the CDMA DC didn't work properly that they returned them all and shifted to AT&T.

    We're all hoping that Network Vision gets done quickly, and hopefully that will cure the current 50% success rate we have experienced so far with Sprint Direct Connect. We're also wondering if & when LTE will help improve the Sprint Direct Connect experience. Our Kyocera Torque phones have to be locked into "CDMA only" mode to use DC, if you put them into LTE mode it shuts off DC altogether.

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    I'm still trying to find a CDMA replacement phone that is just like my i325, including the antenna!
    Mourning the loss of my Nextel i325 but still using a bag phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Try being somewhere like Phoenix where people that go back and fourth to mexico refuse to let go of iDen. Sprint is at a point where they're just telling these people to just go somewhere else since they're loosing money keeping the network up for them.

    Sprint's PCS network has gotten a lot better as of late, but still needs improvement (although the Voice Quality has always been better than overcrowded Verizon)
    Verizon and AT&T both have plans that include voice minutes for calling from the US to Mexico and from Mexico to the US. Presumably that's where folks who travel back and forth will take their business.
    "I didn't get fat by accident. This was a personal choice. " - Kevin Gillespie

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