Nextel Brasil has postponed the deactivation of its legacy iDEN network until May, TeleSintese has reported. The network was originally scheduled to be switched off on 31 March 2018, but was still supporting 217,000 subscribers as of 28 February, prompting the operator to delay its plans by two months. The bulk of the users are understood to be in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
In October last year, Nextel said that investing in the technology was no longer worthwhile given the low demand and high maintenance costs involved. Further, the paucity of new iDEN equipment within the Brazilian market meant that the only way Nextel could continue to offer handsets to its customer base was via reconditioning.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the iDEN network went live in June 1998, using the 800MHz band. The network has been superseded in recent years by Nextel’s W-CDMA and LTE infrastructure.