Seven years ago, Sprint and Nextel announced a ginormous “merger of equals…” but it became apparent very early on that this was an acquisition of Nextel by Sprint. The Nextel brand was immediately replaced with Sprint – confusing and infuriating many long-time Nextel customers. Realizing the error of their ways, Sprint eventually resurrected the Nextel brand, and the “Push-To-Talk” (“PTT”) language that made Nextel consumers so loyal. They tried to crush it again a few years later, this time with “PowerSource”. Essentially a Nextel radio duct-taped to a Sprint phone, it exited with a whimper a few years later. Sprint has thrown band-aids at the network and subscriber base for years now, occasionally tossing out a new handset to keep everyone’s hopes alive.
Fast forward to today: Sprint finally has PTT on their own network, (launching October 2) and from what we’ve seen – it works! This move will give PTT users much faster data speeds, enhanced coverage and roaming capabilities – something never offered on the Nextel network. It will also open the door to additional handset manufacturers and a wider variety of Smartphone options. Sprint will benefit by (eventually) migrating all of the users off of the iDEN (Nextel) network and using that frequency for enhanced data services.
As always, time will tell how well this plays out. We’ll keep you posted.