Sprint announced today that service on its iDEN network will cease as early as June 30, 2013, and that it will begin transitioning customers to its Direct Connect service in the coming months. The transition is part of the carrier's "Network Vision" and will allow Sprint to reassign its 2G spectrum, which currently supports the iDEN network, for its upcoming LTE rollout. Sprint will begin contacting government and business customers shorty urging them to make the move, and will discontinue selling iDEN products over the next few months. If your heart is set on beep-beeping your way into 2013, Sprint's Motorola Admiral is a fine Android-powered choice. Sprint's full presser can be found after the break.
Sprint to cease service on its iDEN network as early as June 30, 2013; Company continues to facilitate migration of iDEN customers to Sprint Direct Connect Service
OVERLAND PARK, Kan, May 29, 2012 - Sprint today announced plans to transition business and government customers from its iDEN (2G) Nextel National Network onto Sprint® Direct Connect® -- its next-generation, push to talk service, which operates on Sprint’s 3G CDMA network. Sprint also announced that it plans 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.
Sprint will send written notices to business and government customers beginning June 1, 2012 regarding the iDEN Nextel National Network shutdown. 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 launched Sprint Direct Connect, the industry’s newest PTT gold standard, in October of last year. The service provides broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, and rugged and reliable handset options. Sprint Direct Connect coverage is expected to broaden throughout 2012.
Over the past eight months, Sprint has announced four rugged Sprint Direct Connect handsets catering to push-to-talk users including the Kyocera DuraMax, Kyocera DuraCore, Kyocera DuraPlus and the Motorola Admiral™. Last month, Sprint made International Direct Connect? available on its Sprint Direct Connect devices, expanding the reach of push to talk capabilities to and from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile.
Network Vision represents a nationwide update of the Sprint network using the newest, most-advanced equipment in the industry. Sprint plans to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds for customers.
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 costs savings. Sprint anticipates that iDEN Nextel National Network push to talk functionality will become inoperable as early as June 30, 2013; however, Sprint CDMA voice and data services on PowerSource devices (dual mode iDEN and CDMA devices) will still be available. The company has already discontinued selling iDEN devices in certain channels. It will discontinue selling iDEN devices in all channels and all brands carrying iDEN Nextel products over the next several months. Sprint will continue to support customers with iDEN devices during the network transition and will work with those customers to ease their transition to Sprint’s CDMA service.
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About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone.Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint atwww.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint andwww.twitter.com/sprint.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
* This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding network performance, coverage and capabilities, business and network efficiencies, migration of services new technologies, timing of deployment, and products and services, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” intend,” “expect,” “should,” “believe,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, development and deployment of new technologies; efficiencies and cost savings of multimode technologies; customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; service, coverage and quality; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment. Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including in its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011.