Back in December 2010, I reported that Sprint announced their intent to phase out the old Nextel iDEN network. Now it seems, they mean business. In an official statement made on May 29th, Sprint has stated:
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.
I think that’s pretty self explanatory. Hopefully they will be able to provide faithful iDEN users a comparable device to what they currently have now. My biggest concern with an IP-based push-to-talk network is device battery life. I have a feeling it might be worse than how poorly an iDEN phone’s battery already performs.