Sprint details iDEN shutdown plans on new website

10 Feb 2012

Sprint Nextel has launched a website (http://nextelnetwork.sprint.com) detailing when and where it will begin decommissioning obsolete iDEN cell towers across the country. According to Fierce Wireless, the work will form part of the firm’s multibillion-dollar ‘Network Vision’ upgrade scheme. Despite outlining decommission plans in late-2011, Sprint has remained coy on the precise details until now, offering a comprehensive indication of how around 250 former Nextel markets around the country will be affected by the developments. Sprint plans to shut down the push-to-talk (PTT) service on its iDEN network, migrating customers to ‘next generation’ PTT services on its CDMA platform instead. The company will then re-farm the surplus 800MHz iDEN spectrum for ‘advanced’ voice services as well as Long Term Evolution (LTE). The site reads: ‘Sprint is in the process of reducing the number of Nextel towers, and making other network modifications around the country. Sprint CDMA coverage will not change due to these actions’. Sprint spokesman Mark Bonavia told Fierce Wireless that the iDEN towers highlighted are ‘excess capacity’ cell sites added years ago when the company’s former Nextel iDEN subscriber base was far larger.