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3/17/2011
00:09 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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End Of The Road For Sprint's iDEN Network

Sprint's push to talk feature works over its iDEN network that it got when it acquired Nextel. It is time to retire that technology and replace it with a CDMA version.

Sprint's push to talk feature works over its iDEN network that it got when it acquired Nextel. It is time to retire that technology and replace it with a CDMA version.The push to talk, or Direct Connect as Sprint calls it, feature allows you to talk to friends, co-workers and family with your phone just as you would a walkie talkie. The service has the most interest with companies where instant communication is desirable.

According to Engadget, Sprint is retiring the current technology and will be replacing it with a version based on its CDMA network. Sprint tried to get rid of iDEN a few years ago but failed.

The forthcoming system will allow up to 200 chat participants and faster data services than the iDEN network. They are already working on an Android based device.

The network will launch later this year. As Engadget notes, the current iDEN network still has three years of maintenance on its current contract, so it is likely the two networks will work side by side. I don't know if the two networks will work with each other though, meaning can an old style Nextel phone talk to a new CDMA based version through the push to talk feature? If they don't, that would cause real migration problems as everyone in your contact list would need to make the switch the same time you did.

Does push to talk interest you? Sprint is the only company that offers this nationwide. I know a lot of people on the Sprint network, but not one of them has a phone that supports this. The main reason I suspect is there are no smartphones currently offered by Sprint with iDEN support. Would Android support make you consider switching to Sprint?

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