For months now we’ve heard Sprint talk about how inefficient Nextel was as a network to run alongside their CDMA and WiMAX networks. We’ve also heard them talk about how their grand plans for networks bandwidth and spectrum once it was officially shuttered would allow the carrier to bolster its LTE ambitions. But through it all, while we’ve heard plenty of talk, we’ve yet to hear of any actual date for when the shutdown of iDen would begin — a necessary first step to making Sprint’s LTE future possible. Well, until now.
Sprint announced today via press release that the soonest date we can start looking at Nextel sites dropping in count will begin on June 30th, 2013. For businesses that rely on the ancient relic of cellular technology, paper reminders (and we’d assume email, too) will begin flooding their inboxes starting June 1st, 2012, warning them about the impending shutdown beginning in as little as one year as well as Sprint’s new line of Direct Connect compatible CDMA phones.
We can’t say we’ll miss Nextel at all. Their network was slow and the phones were so abysmal calling them an “afterthought” would be too generous. So it is with much jubilee we eagerly count down the days until Nextel’s death, and the beginning of 800 MHz LTE.