Sprint is expanding its push-to-talk capabilities with Sprint Direct Connect, a feature of the carrier’s new Network Vision. This expansion, however, means the end of the iDEN network that Sprint acquired in its merger with Nextel in 2004.
The iDEN network that Sprint adopted from Nextel is based on old technology, especially considering the fast-paced advancement and improved standards of wireless technology. The network has survived so long because of its push-to-talk (PTT) capabilities, which has kept it appealing to some businesses and customers.
However Sprint is now branding a new PTT setup, Sprint Direct Connect, which will be available on the carrier’s broadband CDMA network. That means the death of iDEN, which Sprint expects to phase out by 2013.
Until then, the iDEN network is planned to continue normally.
More about Sprint Direct Connect
Sprint upcoming service will improve PTT with a greater coverage area (about three times what iDEN offers), improved in-building connections, and enhanced features for PTT subscribers on the CDMA platform.
The first devices with the new PTT capabilities will be rugged offerings from Motorola and Kyocera, and are expected to support groups of up to 200 people. The launch of this service and its initial portfolio of supported devices is expected for sometime in Q4 of this year.