The Nextel brand has been dormant ever since Sprint shut down the iDEN network last year, but in order to put any remaining rumors to rest, the company has made the death of Nextel all but official in a recent interview with FierceWireless. In the interview, Matt Carter, president of Sprint Enterprise Solutions said that he has not heard anything about the return of Nextel. Clearing up the matter entirely, Sprint spokesman John Votava then told FierceWireless that Sprint has “no [plans] to bring back the Nextel brand.” Sprint and its parent company SoftBank believe that enterprise business is an important part of the carrier’s future, but Nextel will apparently not play any role in that future.
Sprint will revamp and deploy a new Direct Connect push-to-talk service on October 2nd, SprintFeed reports. According to a purported leaked internal screen shot, the new service will support international push-to-talk direct connect, an option that isn’t available from competing services offered by Verizon Wireless and AT&T. In addition, the service will support Land Mobile Radio interoperability (LMR), which is typically used by the military or emergency services and is also offered by Verizon Wireless. Other features will include support for simultaneous data and push-to-talk functionality, support for up to 200 people on a push-to-talk group session, per-second push-to-talk billing and notifications alerting you when other contacts are available for Direct Connect. Sprint has yet to officially announce details surrounding the revamped service. More →
Expedia, Nextag and Yelp are in Washington, D.C. to participate in a Senate judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing about whether or not Google has acted anti-competitively in the market. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman is one of the executives who has been asked to provide testimony during the hearing and he has posted his written testimony on Yelp’s website. “Google is no longer in the business of sending people to the best sources of information on the web,” Stoppelman said. “It now hopes to be a destination site itself for one vertical market after another, including news, shopping, travel and now, local business reviews. It would be one thing if these efforts were conducted on a level playing field, but the reality is they are not.” Read on for more. More →
In a press release today, Sprint announced the successor for its push-to-talk (PTT) iDEN network, Sprint Direct Connect. Running on the company’s nationwide CDMA network, Direct Connect will offer users a larger coverage footprint, improved in-building coverage, and increased voice and data capacity. The new protocol will also add several new features, including 200 participant Direct Connect sessions, Land Mobile Radio (LMR) interoperability, and availability notifications. The company expects the move to increase the number of devices that incorporate the Direct Connect service — the press release specifies that an “Android smartphone” along with sets from Motorola and Kyocera are due in the near future. “During the nationwide implementation of Network Vision, Sprint expects to continue operating the iDEN network at current best-ever performance levels,” reads the press release. “As the customer base shifts to more broadband-centric push-to-talk applications on the CDMA network and Sprint launches Sprint Direct Connect, iDEN cell sites are expected to be phased out in 2013.” The Direct Connect service will launch later this year. The full press release is after the break. More →
Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse, was speaking with FierceWireless when he noted that his company would eventually shut down their iDEN network. The move isn’t really all that surprising, especially when you take into account that Hesse asserted that there was “no timeline” and it would be a “gradual process.” The shuttering of Nextel’s iDEN network would, as the CEO put it, “free up some channels to put CDMA services onto Sprint’s 800 MHz iDEN spectrum.” One thing is certain, when Sprint does decide to drop the ax on their iDEN network, there will be plenty of local and state municipalities looking for another wireless provider. More →
The Washington Post is reporting that eight Republican U.S. senators are trying to block the sale of telecommunications equipment from Chinese manufacturer Huawei to U.S. wireless provider Sprint Nextel. The group, led by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, is asking the Obama administration to investigate if the country’s national security will be compromised by the equipment. In a statement, the group said, “A Chinese company with such a leading role in Iran’s economy and close relationship with the IRGC should not be able to do business in the U.S.” Pretty interesting language out of a group that heralds the wonders of the “free market.” The senators also note that Huawei sells equipment to the Chinese Military, Afghanistan, and Iraq. “At worst, Huawei’s becoming a major supplier of Sprint Nextel could present a case of a company, acting at the direction of and funded by the Chinese military, taking a critical place in the supply chain of the U.S. military, law enforcement and private sector,” said the eight senators. You get the idea… what do you think? Is Huawei equipment in the U.S. a national security risk or is this just more political gamesmanship?
Thanks, Q! More →
After launching on Boost Mobile last month, the Motorola i1 is hitting Sprint on July 25th. The touchscreen offering will be the first Android handset with Nextel Direct Connect and the first Direct Connect handset with a 5 megapixel camera and video recording. This rugged handset is sure to please the construction crowd with its: 3.1″ HVGA display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a 2.5mm headphone jack, military ruggedness for dust, shock, vibration and rain, and Android 1.5 — not to mention the suite of available business tracking and job workflow applications including Xora mobile workforce management tools, TeleNavTrack, and Sprint Mobile Locator. The i1 will launch through direct ship, business sales, telesales, and web sales next Sunday and will hit the remaining channels on August 8th for a reasonable $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year commitment. More →
Remember the Opus One, the Android-powered iDEN handset from Motorola we scooped and then spec’d just before Christmas? Well apparently it’s going to be made official sometime in the next few weeks (hello, CTIA!) and will feature one added but obvious goodie: MOTOBLUR. Since we know most of you don’t have encyclopedic memories, here’s a bit of a refresher on what we’ve been told this phone is all about:
- 3.1″ hVGA 320×480 capacitive touchscreen display
- 3 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
- Proximity sensor
- Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
- microSD card slot
- 2.5mm headset jack
- Home, Menu, Back, Speaker buttons are capacitive buttons with haptic feedback
- iDEN PTT & PTX
- Android LBS which is integrated into the iDEN GPS engine
- “Enterprise email”
- Plastic-molded housing with some rubberized texture finishes
- 58mm in width, 118mm in length
- 100g weight
- 512MB Flash / 256MB of RAM
- 64k and 128k iDEN SIM card support
- Motorola dual-mic technology noise-canceling for noisy environments
- Flash Lite v3.1.x
- Some of the preloaded apps include: corporate email client with ActiveSync support, MOTONAV navigation app, barcode scanner, and document viewer.
We get the feeling that early 2010 is going to be big for Sprint’s WiMax. We came by one of these training slides for a new 3G/4G mobile hotspot, precisely like the Mi-Fi, for Sprint. Like many of Sprint’s wireless data cards, this one is also going to be made by Sierra Wireless. What we’re hearing is that this new device will be able to support up to five users via Wi-Fi and its range is being increased to 100 feet. In addition to the added range and power, it will also support SD card storage; while that doesn’t sound like a big deal, the data can be shared by every user who is connected to the data card. No official pricing or release date just yet, but we’re looking at a possibly February launch for this dual 3G-4G wireless hotspot in your pocket.
Shortly after the rumors surrounding the Sprint and LG event at CES just days away, we were greeted with this little screen shot in our inbox this morning. It looks like Sprint will be getting a LG Android handset pretty soon (though we’re not ruling out the possibility of a WiMax WinMo phone being announced there, too). We’re not sure what the LS680 is just yet, but given the OS we know that it will have a large touchscreen and possibly a QWERTY keyboard as LG likes to do with its LX series. Details are scant for now but we’ll be sure to give you guys all the goods as soon as it comes our way.
When we say we have specifications, boy, do we mean it. One of our connects has sent us the full rundown on Motorla’s Opus One (their first iDEN Android handset) that we revealed a little while back. The features on the device are actually pretty reasonable, and we’d imagine it to sell for a reasonable attractive price-point at release. The Motorola Opus One will run Android 1.5 with iDEN service enhancements, make use of a “Zeus” CPU, and will feature a 3 megapixel autofocus camera.
Detailed list of full specs after the breakage! More →
Sprint has just added a new device to its BlackBerry family — the Curve 8530. Though this is on the low-end for BlackBerry devices, that doesn’t mean it skimps out on any features. The BlackBerry 8530 for Sprint comes with Wi-Fi, 256MB of on-board memory, support for 32GB of expandable memory and a host of social networking applications already built in. Best of all, for those of you who want a smartphone but are on a budget, the Curve 8530 is only $49.99 after two-year contract and MIR. If you’re wondering where you can grab yours, it’s available through every Sprint sales channel: telesales, online, their business channel and of course, Sprint’s retail stores.
UPDATE: Well, maybe not retail stores just yet. More →
We’re a little light on details at the moment, but we’ve just received a couple photographs of what we’re told is Motorola’s first Android iDEN handset, codenamed the Opus One. Original, huh? While these images come from a new connect, we’ve heard mumblings about this sort of thing for a little bit and the phone in the pictures mostly fits the description. We’re waiting for confirmed specifications, but in the meantime, enjoy the rest of the photos after the break! More →