OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), May 01, 2013 – Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings) 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.
“SprintDirect 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.
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 55 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2013 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. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 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 at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436