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Sprint's iDEN Network Ready for Pending Shutdown
By Craig Galbraith
May 01, 2013 - News
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So long, 2G.

Sprint says its plans to close the books on its iDEN Nextel national network remain on schedule for the end of June, as originally announced a year ago.

June 29 will be the last day of service; shutdown begins bright and early on Sunday, June 30, and will continue throughout the day. iDEN devices will then no longer receive voice service – including 911 calls – or data service.

The shutdown is part of the Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier's Network Vision plan – a series of network updates designed to offer next-generation network capabilities to customers. Sprint rolled out fourth-generation LTE services for the first time last year, and it continues to expand its next-generation network nationwide.

“Our shutdown communications are meant to give customers more than enough lead time to plan their migration," said Bob Azzi, senior vice president-Network. “This has been especially important for public safety, first responders, health care users and others who rely on the service to protect and preserve people’s lives. We strongly urge customers to migrate now, rather than wait until the last minute."

The operator says customers who migrate to Sprint Direct Connect experience three times the push-to-talk coverage compared to iDEN, international direct connect reach to Latin American countries, and 3G broadband data capabilities.

Sprint says its Network Vision is expected to add net economic value from reduced roaming costs, cell-site reduction, backhaul efficiencies, more efficient use of capital, and energy cost savings.

America's third-largest wireless operator is awaiting approval of the sale of 70 percent of its company to SoftBank of Japan. Sprint also is the front-runner to buy broadband provider Clearwire.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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