Sprint Sets Nextel Execution Date: June 30, 2013

Remember 2004-2005? Let’s go back there now… Remember… back when people still thought Revenge of the Sith was going to redeem the prequels… Ok, let’s not remember, it’s too painful. Anyway, in late 2004, Sprint and Nextel announced a “merger of equals.” And now, after billions of dollars in mistakes, they’ve finally announced that Nextel will officially die on June 30, 2013. What does this mean for Nextel customers? Yes, apparently they still exist!

CNNMoney says that 5.4 million customers remained on Nextel’s network as of the end of March.

Sprint has been successful at transitioning them off the network, but unfortunately, they’re really good at transitioning them to other companies.

Last quarter, Nextel lost 455,000 contracted customers, and only 228,000 rejoined the Sprint-branded service, says CNNMoney.

Sprint wrote down $543 million of Nextel’s value last quarter. That’s just another drop in the bucket compared to the $29.7 billion writedown it took on the Nextel brand in 2008. Virtually all of the the merger’s value has now been written off.

Ouch.

Sprint’s Nextel network gets its death date: June 30, 2013 [CNN Money]

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  1. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Wow — June 30, 3013? I can’t wait. :P

  2. madanthony says:

    Don’t hit me on a Nextel chirp!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYjdbvKOKYY

    • Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

      You forgot the other N-word! Its ok! You have my permission to use it!

    • Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

      I thought I was the only person in the world who knew about Maceo. -_____-

  3. madrigal says:

    I wonder what its last meal will be.

  4. gman863 says:

    I was stuck with Nextel about 10 years ago (company-provided phone). The line static and dropped calls were hideous, especially if I was barely outside the city limits.

    The fact that over 5 million people still use a Nextel phone blows my mind. Nextel is to cellular communication what the 8-track tape was to music.

    • LoadStar says:

      The reason so many still use Nextel is because it has iDEN-based Push-To-Talk. For average people, this doesn’t mean much, but PTT is an amazingly convenient way of communicating with a workforce, and thus far, no other cell phone provider’s implementation of PTT has worked even remotely as well as iDEN. (This is mostly because iDEN is a very close cousin of a trunked digital two-way system, the same as most emergency responders use.)

      I’ve found many who don’t use PTT don’t get how much more efficient a method of communication it can be in a workforce. It is less monopolizing a communication method than a phone call (i.e. you can easily be working on something else while using PTT) and infinitely more efficient than texting.

      • Scooter McGee says:

        Yes, I always enjoy it when somebody has these “convenient” conversations in a public place, like a restaurant. While it has died off in recent years, there are still plenty of encounters. How about I just call somebody on speakerphone while I’m there too?

        /s

        • JennQPublic says:

          I find it every bit as annoying to have to listen to one side of a cell phone conversation as listening to both sides.

          How about having some manners and excusing yourself when you need to make a phone call, people?

  5. consumed says:

    Good riddance Nexthell.

  6. APCO25guy says:

    Nextel WAS a great interoperability solution for us in public safety. With a hodgepodge of radio systems on five different bands, back in the early 2000′s, every first responder got personal and department issued Nextel phones. They were great, you gave out your private call ID to other officers with other agencies and could have secure (read that: no media, terrorists or nosy people with scanners) conversations. If you’re agency would pay for it, you could get group connect and have a talkgroup like a traditional radio system with up to 20 members.

    It was great for narc operations, administrative comms, and compliance with HIPAA. Then Sprint bought the company and halted the buildout, customer service followed, and the mission on Sprint’s end was clear: gain the valuable SMR spectrum.

    Most of us gave up our Nextels for smartphones, or invested in VHF radios for interagency communications. But it was a GREAT system for a RADIO network back in the day, that could also double as a cellphone when needed. Not to mention the handsets were tougher than any cheap plastic consumer grade crap. In 2009 when the floods hit Atlanta, my i580 spent time submerged in water while I pulled people from cars, and it never missed a beat.

    • StopGougingMeThere! says:

      I loved it for communicating with my tech team since it provided instant response. Texting just isn’t the same plus anything I said on PTT couldn’t be manipulated like a text that’s taken out of context to the rest of a conversation and end up as an excuse to terminate me after 17 years of service. I hate my last employer.

  7. Retired Again says:

    I left Sprint years ago to go to Nextel. Satisfied in every way. Then, Sprint bought Nextel. Service went haywire again. I stayed on Nextel though and now I have 5 Nextel phones that work 30% of time (signal strength) as they (Sprint) are eliminating Nextel phone service. I went to Sprint store and foolishly asked what did Sprint offer to “make up” this latest snafu? “Well, let’s see oh, nothing that a person off the street couldn’t get – PLUS you have to go back on 2 year contract!
    I have been OFF contract for 2 years.
    No Thanks – I am heading for other providers – being careful I do not pick one that Sprint owns!
    Sprint seems to enjoy “business suicide” bit-by-bit.

  8. Abradax says:

    My company’s maintenance crew all used Nextels. We have been transitioning to Verizon cell phones. I think we are all converted now.

  9. incident_man says:

    Nextel’s biggest problem (besides Sprint) was the fact that they pulled A “Betamax.” Nextel made it so they had a monopoly on the cellular technology (iDEN) and that Motorola had a monopoly on the handsets. In other words, if you wanted fast, usable PTT, your only choice was Nextel and Motorola. Since no one else used iDEN, there was no roaming agreements with ANYONE. Nextel customers were stuck with Nextel, and Nextel wasn’t exactly eager, nor did they have the resources to put up new towers everywhere. When Sprint acquired Nextel, they did so solely for the subscriber base; they had no intention to build out or upgrade the iDEN network to 3G technology, so it was just left to wither away. It’s really sad too; their PTT technology is second-to-none in connection speed and their phones were durable.

    In short….one bad decision after another……and another…….and another.

  10. ferozadh says:

    It seems in your anger, you killed Nextel.

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!