OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sprint remains on schedule to decommission the iDEN Nextel National Network beginning at 12:01 am Eastern time on June 30. iDEN devices will then no longer receive voice service – including 911 calls and push-to-talk– 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. The last full day of iDEN service for active users will be June 29.
Sprint announced plans in the fourth quarter of 2010 to phase out the iDEN Nextel National Network as part of its Network Vision plan. The company declared on May 29, 2012, that it planned to cease service on the network as early as June 30, 2013. During the past year, Sprint has extensively notified customers of the impending shutdown and encouraged early migration from the iDEN Nextel National Network to avoid service disruptions. The notifications have included customer letters, legal notifications, email reminders, voicemails and text messages. The company will use other communications tactics during the network’s final days of operation.
“We strongly urge customers to migrate now to the Sprint Nationwide CDMA network to avoid losing service,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president-Network.
Customers who migrate to Sprint® Direct Connect® experience three times the push-to-talk coverage area compared to iDEN and can take advantage of International Direct Connect’s reach to Latin American countries and 3G broadband data capabilities.
“Sprint Direct 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 and social media capabilities on Sprint’s broadband CDMA network.”
Recycling 100 million pounds of materials as part of iDEN shutdown
Sprint will recycle nearly all of the iDEN network equipment that it can’t reuse – including cables, batteries, even the concrete shelters that many iDEN cell sites occupy. The projected result of the effort is a staggering amount of recycled network gear and other materials weighing more than 100 million pounds.
Sprint will gut hundreds of cell sites of obsolete iDEN equipment -- from radios to server racks, antennas to air conditioners -- and will stage it all for recycling vendors. Most concrete shelters that house iDEN cell sites will be crushed and turned into composite for roads and bridges. Sites where CDMA and LTE equipment is co-located will be left intact, minus the iDEN gear.
When decommissioning of the iDEN network is complete, nearly 30,000 iDEN installations will be taken off air. The iDEN recycling project is expected to continue into early 2014.
“Recycling a nationwide wireless network is a huge undertaking, but one that we’re committed to,” Azzi said. “The company has earned a reputation for environmental stewardship. The iDEN recycling effort extends our commitment.”
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 as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five 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.